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Cath Kidston profits up on global appeal, ‘Britishness’ helps in Asia

Booming overseas sales have helped UK apparel and homewares retailer Cath Kidston profits surge in the year to March 26. Underlying profits jumped 27.4% to £9.3m as overseas sales surged by almost 20% on the back of success in Asian markets including Japan and Thailand.

CEO Kenny Wilson said Asia likes its pretty aesthetic and also its very British image. He also said buying back the Japanese franchise has proved to be a good move and was a significant contributor to the international sales growth.

And he added that the brand benefits from a wide age range among its customers with lines as varied as its Disney collections and its Future Florals being very successful.

Total sales also increased almost 8% to £129.2m in the 12-month period. UK sales, which account for about two-thirds of the total, rose 3.3% on a comps basis, thanks to the tie-up with Disney as well as Future Florals. Online sales also rose more than 10%.

Last year Baring Private Equity Asia became the controlling shareholder. Founder Cath Kidston stepped down as creative director in 2014 but still owns about 11% of the business.

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