Fraser Hart eyes store growth as turnover rockets past £100m

Fraser Hart Watford

Glasgow-based jewellery chain Fraser Hart has reportedly set its sights on expanding its store network and winning market share after strengthening its balance sheet.

The company, which now turns over more than £100m a year, aims to continue its pursuit of market share and growth through a combination of new store launches and upgrading existing outlets.

In its latest published accounts, directors said underlying profits at the firm increased 25% to around £6m in 2014, according to The Herald. It said the profits were boosted by an improvement in revenues.

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Founded in Glasgow by Fred Hill in 1936, Fraser Hart operates 39 stores across the UK.

In the latest accounts, covering the 18 months to 28 June, directors noted that the group had put in place new medium term funding facilities with partners that are supportive of its growth strategy.

The refinancing involved the reorganising of the debt among members of parent Anthony Nicholas’s UK sub-group.

The paper added that Fraser Hart’s pre-tax profit fell to £1m in the 18 months to 28 June, from £3.3m in the preceding 12 months. Directors said the fall in profit followed additional interest costs being incurred due to the reorganisation of debt. But operating profits increased to £4m from £3.6m. Turnover rose to £109m from £73m, it said.

The company changed its year end to June from December meaning the key Christmas period would be included in the first half. Directors noted Fraser Hart grew sales by almost 5% annually in 2014, to £77m.

Underlying earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, increased to £5.9m in 2014 from £4.7m in 2013.

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