Sales have declined 2.3% at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group over the last 10 weeks. These results do not include BHS, the department store that was sold for £1 to a group of accountants and lawyers in March. The report indicates a decline in sales, including VAT from established stores, compared to the previous year.
Underlying sales in the UK from brands including Topman, Topshop, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Wallis, dropped 0.9% in the year.
According to Sir Philip, the trading was a reflection of high street’s difficult conditions. He noted that sales have now improved as temperatures continue to drop. Sir Philip also noted that Arcadia will be offering Black Friday discounts.
The company’s pretax profit in the year was £202 million (accounting for £12.3 million of exceptional items), compared to £190 million the previous year. The costs of exceptional items were related to the opening of new wholly-owned stores, charges associated with the company’s pension schemes, and international expansion.
Over the last year, leases have expired on 86 sites, and the company’s portfolio now includes 2,358 stores.
BHS, which has continually experienced losses, has been stripped from this years’ figures. Sir Philip also sold his 25% stake in Topman and Topshop three years ago. Recent speculation has been centered on whether Sir Philip could offload any of his other brands.