Kurt Geiger, the British footwear and accessories retailer, has reported impressive sales and profit growth in its accounts for the year ending February 2020, despite the challenging retail environment preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. The company saw a 3.7% increase in sales, reaching £347 million, which was attributed to the success of its wholesale own-brand business, particularly in the US market, as well as the expansion of its distribution partnerships.

One of the key factors contributing to Kurt Geiger’s strong performance was the acquisition of new distribution partners in the US and Europe, resulting in a sales growth of 34.9% in this channel. The company also experienced growth in its retail sector, with total like-for-like sales increasing by 3% and a stronger growth of 7.2% in Kurt Geiger-fronted facias on a multichannel basis. Notably, handbags and sneakers were the standout products in terms of popularity, with sales increasing by 20% and 35% respectively.

In addition to strong sales, Kurt Geiger also saw a significant rise in earnings on an EBITDA basis, reaching £40.2 million, an increase of 11.5%. Operating profit also rose by 22% to £29.7 million, despite incurring one-off expansion costs and expenses related to the launch of a new warehouse management system. Profit after tax increased from £27.6 million to £32.6 million.

The company’s financial success allowed it to enter the Covid-19 pandemic in a strong position. By the end of the financial year, Kurt Geiger had reduced its debt and held cash reserves of £18.1 million. This solid financial foundation, combined with the utilization of government initiatives such as the Job Retention Scheme and support from its major shareholder, enabled Kurt Geiger to weather the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

While the company did not provide specific figures on its performance since the onset of the pandemic, it expressed its commitment to emerge from the crisis as a stronger brand with deep connections to its customers, employees, and suppliers. However, the pandemic has had an impact on Kurt Geiger’s expansion plans, including its wholesale business growth and the introduction of new stores.

Despite these challenges, Kurt Geiger’s digital growth strategy has not been greatly affected. The company has witnessed significant growth in its Kurt Geiger and Shoeaholics branded webstores, with a 16.2% increase in like-for-like growth in the previous financial year. Although it expects its revenue and profitability for FY21 to be materially impacted by the pandemic, Kurt Geiger remains dedicated to pursuing its strategic plan and delivering value to its customers through partnerships and digital platforms.

In summary, Kurt Geiger’s performance prior to the pandemic showcased its strong presence in the retail market. With remarkable sales and profit growth, the company has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity and is determined to emerge as a more robust brand in the future. While expansion plans were affected by the pandemic, Kurt Geiger continues to prioritize digital growth and delivering value to its customers.

Useful links:
Kurt Geiger Official Website
Shoeaholics Official Website