A year of international growth for Cath Kidston

Home furnishings and fashion retailer Cath Kidston has reported a 10% year-on-year increase in group sales for the year to 30 March 2014, as it grew its presence in new international markets.

The 12-month period saw the company open franchise stores in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, for the first time, as well as unveil its inaugural French concession. In a full-year results report, published today, the retailer said it will continue to look to grow its business outside of the UK.

Cath Kidston also recently opened new flagship stores in London (below) and Shanghai, and has been developing the digital side of its business with a new website from BT Expedite that includes online ratings and reviews, wish-lists, e-vouchers, enhanced search, click & collect facilities and a range of delivery options.

In an interview with Essential Retail last summer, IT director Mike Padfield said that the company has been working on developing local language websites for its new customers in Europe.

Worldwide network sales, which include the estimated retail sales of Cath Kidston's retail franchise partners overseas, increased by 12% to £144 million, while group sales – which represent the group’s statutory sales under UK GAAP, including wholesale sales to retail partners overseas – totalled £116 million.

International retail sales increased by 37% to £46 million, while the business's EBITDA jumped by 19% to £25 million.

Kenny Wilson, CEO of Cath Kidston, commented: "This has been another year of strong growth, demonstrating the broad appeal of the Cath Kidston brand to consumers around the world.

"We invested further in people and infrastructure, including the successful relaunch of our UK website on a new platform. In August 2013 we completed a refinancing which significantly strengthened our balance sheet. And as a result of our strong cash generation, we have already repaid 13% of the new debt, ahead of schedule."

In addition to the new markets entered over the last 12 months, Cath Kidston has stores in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, as well as 66 outlets in the UK.

A total of eight UK stores were opened in 2013-14, helping drive annual sales growth of 6% in the company's home market.

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BT Expedite