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Profits up 120% at Wilkinson

Wilkinson reported pre-tax profits of £64.9m, up 120% from last year, for the 12 months to January 30, 2010. Sales at the retailer rose 7%, while operating profit doubled from £31.6m in 2009 to £62.9m.

Stockturn rose sharply from 7.4 times to 8.6 times, demonstrating the efficiency of the business. While staff numbers fell 7%, the salary bill increased 5%, suggesting a possible cut back on lower-paid part-time workers.

Wilkinson opened 17 new stores in the period, taking the portfolio to 337. Three of those stores were in Scotland, seeing what the company's Annual Review called "the realisation of a long-held ambition for Wilkinsons and the start of big plans for north of the border".

The company is also beginning a major refurbishment programme, which includes new signage, layouts, lighting, flooring, fascias and displays. The new look will be rolled out to 80 stores in 2010 in celebration of Wilkinson's 80th anniversary.

The retailer had a record year for own brand in 2009/10, with sales exceeding £640m, up 21% on the previous year. A massive 35.9% of all company sales were from own brand products across over 9,500 skus.

The biggest own brand category launch in 2009 was in home, according to the Annual Review, with more than 2,000 skus launched in May, delivering more than £120m of sales. Home is now the biggest single category for own brand sales at the retailer.

More than 600 own brand skus were also launched in the cleaners, blinds, fixings and security categories. The Wilko Everyday Value brand was created in the second half of 2009, to replace Right price as the company's entry-level tier. This will be launched across more than 400 products in 2010 forming the base of the store's own-brand offer.

Source : DIY

27 July 2010
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