Head office fees drive Crew Clothing profits down

Crew Clothing, the British retailer famous for its nautically-inspired products, boosted sales by about 6pc last year while its losses grew after splashing out on its head office.

The fashion brand announced £58.3m of sales for the year to Oct 30, 2016, compared to £55m last year, after strong online purchases and investment in its product ranges.

However, profits before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped by 18.2pc to £2.4m, while pre-tax losses rose from £2.5m to £2.9m on the back of an investment in its head office in London.

Alastair Parker-Swift, the Crew founder and chief executive, announced that a vital challenge was “attracting new and retaining existing customers in a very competitive and promotional retail environment”.

He additionally said that “a positive economic and favourable legislative environment is key to the overall success of the retail sector in the UK and as a consequence that of Crew Clothing”.

Many stores have asked for a prolonged transition period in Brexit discussions to allow manufacturers to adjust to trade duty or employee changes that they may have to perform.

Mr Parker-Swift, a former windsurfer and professional skier, founded Crew Clothing in 1993 by selling rugby shirts and clothes that are themed from a store in Salcombe, Devon.