Harrods smashes £2bn sales mark in record year

People walk in front of the Harrods department store in London, on May 8, 2010. Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed has sold luxury London department store Harrods to the investment arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, his financial advisors Lazard said on May 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO CARL COURT        (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Harrods has posted its eighth consecutive year of record sales and profits, helped by demand from overseas customers.

The world-famous retailer, which stocks luxury jewellery brands such as Tiffany & Co, Lorraine Schwartz, Harry Winston and Graff, broke the £2bn sales mark for the first time in the year ended 28 January 2017, accounts filed at Companies House show.

It said its gross transaction value grew by 23.3% to £2.09bn whilst group turnover climbed 16.6% to £919.7m.

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Harrods also disclosed pre-tax profits of £187.9m, up 44.9% on the previous period. This includes the profit on transfer of a subsidiary, Harrods Commercial Property Limited, to a related party, at a gain of £32.4m.

Excluding the impact of the sale of Harrods Commercial Property, operating profit was up 24% to £220.9m.

Harrods said in the Companies House report that while the businesses witnessed a robust start to the year in its trade, there was a “substantial impact” seen in demand from its overseas customers after the weakening of the British currency following the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016.

The period also saw a confirmed programme of significant capital expenditure, with total additions of £55.1m from £35.7m.

Harrods said its focus has continued on investing in luxury boutiques, primarily its Knightsbridge store, but also at airports. This level of capital expenditure is expected to continue in 2017.

Words by Sarah Clarke.

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