Stanfords 'on target' to return to profit

Stanfords 'on target' to return to profit

Stanfords bookshops have reduced their losses over the last year, with the company said to be “on target” to return to profit this financial year.

The two travel bookshops, based in London’s Covent Garden and Bristol, achieved sales of £5.7m in the year to 31st March 2014, an increase of 0.15% on the year before, according to the company’s managing director Tony Maher.

Stanfords is registered under Edward Stanford Limited, after Edward Stanford who founded the maps, travel and travel accessories business in 1853. Since Maher took over as m.d. in June 2013, the company has reduced its losses to “just under” £40,000, from a loss of £418,000 in 2013, he said.

Maher added the company was on track to return to profitability by the end of this financial year and intimated he had a number of initiatives in the pipeline to achieve it. “I am extremely satisfied with the progress that we have made in my first year at the helm of this iconic business,” he said. “My aim in year one was to stem our losses and generate cash from trading – something that we have managed to achieve. Year two is about growing the business and returning it to profitability. At this stage, after six months, we are on target to do that.”

Last week the company appointed financial consultant Brian Finch to its board as finance director and also hired Waterstones blog editor Dan Lewis, who will join Stanfords as marketing, events and PR manager in December.  Meanwhile Iain Betterton, who has previously worked at the Science Museum Group, will soon head up the buying team.

“These people, along with the existing team, will be instrumental in growing the Stanfords business into the future,” Maher said. “We are working on a number of key initiatives that will strengthen the Stanfords brand and provide great opportunity for the future growth of the business.”

Maher thanked his team for their “support and commitment” over the last 18 months and added “without their help we would not have achieved the turnaround that we are announcing today.”