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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
Austin Reed moves back into black
Austin Reed fashionwear
UK retailers have had a difficult period amid strong competition
Clothing retailer Austin Reed has moved back into profit after a revamp of its stores boosted trade.

It unveiled pre-tax profit of 2.29m for the 28 weeks to 12 August, compared with a loss of 1.1m a year earlier.

Austin Reed said the earnings had been boosted by the sale and lease-back of a large site in Thirsk. Without that its profit would have been 513,000.

Like-for-like sales - which strip out the impact of new stores - rose 7.2%, helped by new products and operations.

Demand also picked up at its flagship store in Regent Street, where sales increased 13.3% over the period.

At the same time, profit margins widened as Austin Reed improved its supply chain operations and offered fewer discounts in its stores.

"By improving our product, stores and service we have broadened our appeal to customers and increased our sales and margins," said chief executive Nick Hollingworth.




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