Tough trading for BHS drags on profits at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group

Arcadia Group, Sir Philip Green's Topshop and Miss Selfridge empire, has reported lower profits afte

Arcadia Group, Sir Philip Green's Topshop and Miss Selfridge empire, has reported lower profits after continued tough trading at department store chain BHS. - Credit: PA

Sir Philip Green’s Topshop and Miss Selfridge retail empire has reported lower profits after continued tough trading at department store chain BHS.

Arcadia Group, which holds a UK portfolio of more than 2,300 shops under brands also including Burton and Dorothy Perkins, said underlying profits were 3% lower to £148.1million in the year to August 30.

Total sales were up slightly to £2.7billion, with the UK figure on a like-for-like basis broadly flat on a year ago, assisted by strong performances from Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.

Sir Philip 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.”

In the first 10 weeks of the new financial year, underlying sales were down 1.2% against last year as recent unseasonably mild and wet weather has had an impact across the retail sector.

At BHS, which Sir Philip bought for £200m in 1999, trading has been challenging in a sector where conditions have been “very tough”.

Sir Philip did not pay a dividend from the business for the ninth year running, with the last payout in 2005 triggering a £1.2bn windfall.

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The company said it continued to review its UK property portfolio. Over the last year the company has closed a net total of 64 stores and 213,000 square feet of space, taking its current portfolio to 2,311 outlets. It is continuing with the trial of three BHS food stores.

In the United States, the company opened three new wholly owned stores, bringing the total to seven, including its flagship 40,000sq ft Topshop Topman store on New York’s 5th Avenue.