Dune Group has cited Brexit uncertainty and changing consumer behaviour as it reported falling sales and profits.
Dune Group, parent group of Dune London, ranked Top50 in IRUK Top500 research, said that Brexit uncertainty hit customer demand in its latest full-year. “The trading climate during the period was challenging, with the uncertainties created by Brexit negatively impacting retail demand,” it said in its latest results statement. “There was also a rapidly changing retail landscape as the sector responds to changes in consumer behaviour, not least the ongoing trend towards digital commerce, rising costs and a weak pound.” However, the group said that its financial strength would position it to withstand economic headwinds and take advantage of opportunities “which will undoubtedly materialise”.
It reported turnover of £143.9m in the year to January 26, down from £149.9m in the previous year. Pre-tax profits came in at £3.0m, down from £3.8m last time, after exceptional costs of £1.2m in debt written-off as a result of the failure of House of Fraser in August 2018.
Despite this, the retailer said that like-for-like sales grew through all its sales channels, except House of Fraser. Sales through its own website were 13% ahead of last year. The retailer closed seven stores and opened six outlet stores and five department store concessions during the year. It said it had also invested in its stores and websites, and in brand marketing and technology as it looks to grow its business.
Dune Group also said there were “well-documented challenges within some of the department store groups with whom we partner, and this is continuing to affect the performance of our brand on both their web platforms and within their stores.” It added: “We are dedicated to working closely with our partners to optimise our trading performance and ensure that sustainable profitability is delivered.”
Image: Screenshot of www.dunelondon.com