Sir Philip Green has shrugged off Arcadia's decline in full year profits, highlighting how the Topshop parent group is adapting to the “fast changing” demands of the retail industry.
The group, which owns Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis as well as Topshop, reported a 3.4 per cent drop in pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items, to £143.1m. This was despite sales edging up 0.9 per cent to £2.7bn, with like-for-likes up 1.6 per cent.
BHS was up 3.6 per cent.
Green was undeterred by the profits slump, however.
He said: “The retail industry continues to be fast changing, as the number of channels through which customers choose to purchase and engage with us continually evolves, thus increasing the complexity of our operations, and our need for efficiency and speed to market.
“Over the past year, we have continued to trade successfully in the UK, with strong performances in particular from Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.”
He is also looking to international expansion to support performance in Arcadia's home market. The retail group has recently opened a 40,000 sq ft flagship store in New York – Topshop's second largest worldwide after the Oxford Street behemoth - and plans further growth in the US market, with openings planned in Houston and Atlanta, as well as Asia, through a partnership with high end department store Lane Crawford, and Europe.
Arcadia is in the process of reviewing its property portfolio in the UK, closing 64 net stores last year, a reduction of 213,000 sq ft.
The group “continues to review our property portfolio in the UK, given the number of leases due to expire”, it said.
Its current store portfolio stands at 2,311.