Foyles returns to profit, looks to open more stores

Foyles returns to profit, looks to open more stores

Foyles has returned to profit and is “well-placed to expand further”.

The company has reported its financial results for the year to 30th June 2015, revealing that turnover was up 4.3% to £24.4m, while gross profit increased by 0.6% to £6.9m, due to “underlying improvement of the business and tight control costs”. Ebitda at the company, meanwhile, also increased 11.4% to £397,053. Last year Foyles slipped into a loss after the closure of its Westfield White City branch.

The company said that its Charing Cross Road bookshop had seen sales increase by 10% since its redesign and relocation in June 2014, while “trading continued to be robust” and ahead of the previous year at Foyles’ branches in Westfield Stratford City, London Waterloo Station, Royal Festival Hall and Bristol Cabot Circus.

Paul Currie was appointed as c.e.o of Foyles in April 2015, replacing Sam Husain. Since then, Currie has overhauled the “Foyalty” loyalty scheme and has since embarked on a "comprehensive" strategy to turn the business into a truly multi-channel retailer with a strong focus on customer service.

The company opened a branch in New Street Station in Birmingham last year, announced plans to open a branch in Chelmsford later this year and is now exploring opportunities to open more new branches.

John Browne, financial director of Foyles, said: “With a positive cash flow, healthy reserves and a positive trading outlook - both within the business and industry analyst’s projections - Foyles is well placed to expand further and will continue to explore opportunities to open new branches.”

He added: “The board recognises the importance of the team of dedicated professionals that work for the company and would like to record its appreciation of the outstanding service, dedication and commitment of the staff.”

Meanwhile Currie said a profit had been achieved “through careful cost control and smart operating processes”.

“Whilst this is an improvement on 2013/14, we are still challenged by low margins in a retail sector that has heavy costs of operations and low sales density,” he said. “We continue to explore ways of ensuring the sustainability of the business, through initiatives such as the successful development of our digital delivery systems.”

The development of staff and managers through coaching and a structured programme of in-house and external training will be focus for 2015-2016, the company said.