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Oct 26, 2022
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Dune back in profit in latest year

Oct 26, 2022

Dune Group has filed its results for the year to the end of January and they show the footwear specialist swinging to a profit after it made a loss in the previous financial year.

Dune London

EBITDA was £2.9 million, up from the previous £9.8 million loss with the company saying the improved results reflect the economic recovery post-pandemic. Profit after tax was £1.25 million, better than the £13.3 million loss of the previous year.

It was a year of big change both in terms of stores and the company structure, but it said that overall turnover rose to £78.571 million from £67.577 million in the previous 12 months.

Like for like retail sales for the period rose 29.4% after a 30.8% fall in the previous year. But sales through the Dune website fell by 11.9% in the latest period compared to a 12.5% increase in the previous year.

The group had been forced to close all of its UK and European stores and concessions in the previous year and they were also shut at the start of the financial year covered here.

This led to it launching a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in February 2021 that received full creditor support and saw the majority of its stores moving to a turnover rent-based model.

The company’s parent group, Dune Holdings Ltd, also formally renegotiate its bank facilities in March 2021 and secured a three-year term £25 million revolving credit facility (RCF).

With that security behind it the company said its business recovery post-Covid “has been encouraging with many stores now achieving pre-pandemic levels of sales”. 

The business continued to open locations during the period with six new outlet stores, one full-price store and an extension of its online marketplace partners.

But it's not back to full strength given the challenging backdrop and it said it continues to face difficulties in shipping from suppliers, which has meant stock shortages at times.

It added that the pandemic gave it an opportunity to reevaluate its overarching strategy with a focus on “elevating the brand and improving margins, characterised by less promotional activity and higher selling prices”. 

The results for the period “reflect the success of this focused approach and the following period has got off to a strong start as this approach is further embedded in the ways of working, making the business stronger, more resilient and more profitable”.

For the future, this strategy is continuing, as is the addition of new products such as the launch of the Dune London kids’ range. 

It's planning to continue opening new stores in high footfall locations when it's able to secure attractive rental terms. A key focus for it includes locations where it used to have a department store concession but doesn't have one now. It also continues to invest in online operations and partnerships.

Overall, the company sees “considerable opportunity to grow the Dune London brand and improve profitability through new marketplaces, investment in our e-commerce platforms to make it best in class and having a profitable and expanding UK store estate”.

At the end of the period in question, the company had 50 stores and 73 concessions compared to 46 stores and 124 concessions in the previous year. That reflected the closure of Debenhams stores and the transition of House of Fraser from a concession model to a wholesale account.

And at the end of March this year, it undertook a corporate reorganisation to "simplify the group structure with a new holding company and separate brand and operating entities".

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