Published on 7 - September - 2009
Wilkinson's sales soar during downturnDiscount retailer unveils strong sales figures and ambitious plans.
Wilkinson's annual sales have hit a record £1.45bn this year, having opened 26 new stores.
As well as the 6.2% increase in revenues for the year to the end of January, the firm outlined ambitious growth plans as it seeks to capitalise on the UK's pursuit of value in the recession. It aims to open 15 new stores this year as part of a plan to grow to more than 500 sites by 2012.
Wilkinson has a 321-strong chain of stores in the UK It said the number of customers in its stores increased by 4.5% to 224 million in the year, boosted by a 7.4% rise in total selling space.
Inevitably, the expansion plans saw costs rise, which added to tough trading conditions to see full-year earnings fall by 35% to £31.6m.
Karin Swann and Lisa Wilkinson, who are family directors and grand-daughters of the founder, said: "Economic conditions are making life tough for everyone, particularly high street retailers. Despite this, last year has been successful and we have taken major steps forward in all areas of our business." Chief executive Stuart Mitchell added the firm's "value-based offer" should help it further grow sales and profits.
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