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Alexon sees rise in online sales

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Fashion retailer the Alexon Group today revealed a 144% rise in online sales in 2010. The company also said it had moved back into profit despite falling group sales.

Announcing its financial results for the year to the end of January, Alexon said turnover fell to £135.9m, from £153.4m at the same time last year. Like-for-like sales, stripping out the effect of store openings and closures, were down by 3.4%. But at the same time the company moved back into profit, reporting pre-tax profits, after exceptional items, of £0.1m, compared to a loss of £14.3m at the same time last year.

Online, said Alexon, was a key part of its turnaround strategy, and it had increased its targets both for online and direct sales over the next three years. New ecommerce director Giles Delafeld, previously of Blacks, joined the company in January.

Alongside the ecommerce channel Alexon has also moved into the catalogue market, with wholesale partners and through a joint venture. “Initial feedback has been positive and we are anticipating this to be a successful channel for reaching a more mature catchment,” it said.

Other developments include a new warehouse management system that it said would “facilitate the expansion of our multichannel strategy.”

Jane McNally, chief executive, said: “Despite being another difficult year for the UK retail industry we are pleased that the Group made further progress with its turnaround and has returned to profitability. That said our performance was impacted not only by the challenging trading environment but also by the severe weather in the last quarter which adversely affected profits and our cash position.

“We are pleased to report that trading since the year end has been encouraging and broadly in line with management expectations against a tough economic backdrop.”

Chairman Richard Handover is stepping down as chairman at the end of May, and will be replaced by non-executive director David Adams.

Photo: Alexon

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