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The Monsoon and Accessorize group see digital sales up 43% to account for half of all sales

Monsoon Accessorize: half sales now digital (Image: loocmill:Shutterstock)

Monsoon and Accessorize’s parent company, Adena Brands, has started to reap the rewards of its turnaround strategy, delivering sales of £196m and EBITDA of £17.4m– including its Middle-East venture – for the 12 months to December 31 2021.

The company also reports that digital sales grew 43% to now account for some half of all revenues.

After acquiring the brands out of administration in 2020, saving 2,300 jobs in the UK and more than 4,500 globally, these results put Monsoon and Accessorize in a strong position for continued growth in 2022 and beyond.

In the 12 months to December 2021, Monsoon and Accessorize sales were £196 million. Both brands performed well over the important peak period from Black Friday through to Christmas, with digital sales the standout success, increasing by 43% for the 12 weeks through December, and now representing approximately half of sales and more than 70% for Monsoon. Strong margin performance and a lower, more flexible cost base help drive EBITDA for the calendar year to £17.4 million.

Adena Brands filing its first audited financials since acquiring the Monsoon and Accessorize brands, covering the period of 17 months from April 2020 through August 2021. Sales for the period were £200m, EBITDA was £24.7m and profit before tax was £19.9m. The company ended the period with no debt and £11.6m of cash; at the end of December 2021, the company remained debt-free and cash had increased to £15m.

These financial results are set against a challenging trading period for retail in the UK and globally, but they reflect the success of the company’s turnaround strategy over the past two years. That strategy has five main elements—product and brand renewal, digital transformation, retail portfolio restructuring, international restructuring, and central cost reduction—and each has contributed ahead of expectations.

Nick Stowe, CEO, comments: “This has been a difficult year for everyone. But we have navigated the challenges in retail successfully and have been able to accelerate and go further with our turnaround than we expected. Our focus initially was just on saving Monsoon and Accessorize, two iconic brands; but we have been able to transform how we operate, refreshed our product, become more digital, opened new store formats, and become more agile as a team and business. Now that we have restructured and returned the business to profitability, we’re planning further growth with a solid foundation and renewed confidence.”

Growth over the next year is expected to continue with a focus on digital, new retail locations and international expansion. Monsoon and Accessorize’s digital presence continues to grow via its own web presence, including third-party guest brands for the first time, as well as an expanded presence on digital marketplaces. After 11 new UK store openings in 2021, an additional 20 are planned in 2022, including its new Accessorize format as well as its new Monsoon boutique. The brands will continue to expand in Europe and the Middle East, including the opening of multiple new stores in travel locations similar to the one recently opened in Zurich Airport.

Peter Simon, Founder and Chairman, adds: “We took a leap of faith in 2020 to rescue Monsoon and Accessorize at the height of the pandemic. Over the past two years our team has worked tirelessly to save the business, return it to a solid footing and secure the long-term future of the brands. The impact of the pandemic is by no means over, and we face serious challenges as do all other retailers and brands, but I am encouraged by the progress we have made, and I would like to thank Nick and the whole team for their hard work as well as our customers for keeping faith in us.

“Our priority was to save the business, secure over 2,300 UK jobs and maintain our presence as a leader on the high street: we have achieved that. We would not have been able to do this without the continued support of all our landlords and suppliers, and I also want to thank them for believing in us.

“As we hoped, Monsoon and Accessorize have emerged from this crisis smaller and stronger but essentially the same – with our unique design flair and commitment to environmental standards and ethical trading intact. Our business turns 50 next year, a testament to the strength of our products and brands but also to how we have been able to evolve and change. I am now looking forward to delivering on our growth plans and writing the next chapter for Monsoon and Accessorize.”

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