Outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse today revealed that it plans to create up 400 jobs over the next year, after it reeled in record trading figures.
The company, which has stores across Yorkshire, said that its sales grew by 28.7 per cent to £141.4m in the 12 months to February 28, despite the tough UK retail environment and “highly unpredictable weather”.
Pre-tax profits jumped 36 per cent to £16.2m from £11.9m in the prior year. Like-for-like sales also rose by 19.3 per cent, as the business continued to grow its footprint in the UK and overseas. Its performance has also been boosted by the launch of a new children’s wear range created with help from the TV presenter and explorer Steve Backshall.
A spokesman said: “The performance over the last year demonstrates the resilience of Mountain Warehouse’s business model, both in its stores and online, with its “bricks and clicks” model continuing to deliver growth.
“Mountain Warehouse has also worked hard to weather-proof its business, by widening its offer to include more summer ranges, particularly for children, in addition to its ever-popular waterproof jackets and wellies.
“This combined with more products for cyclists and a bigger ski range mean the business has clocked-up strong sales during periods of both wet and sunny weather.”
In the past financial year, Mountain Warehouse continued to expand its store estate, adding another 40 outlets and creating more than 400 jobs.
The company continues to expand across the UK, with new branches opened or planned in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Stores have opened recently in a variety of locations, including York, Shrewsbury, Evesham, Loughborough and Banbury.
Mountain Warehouse’s international expansion has also continued, with new outlets opening in North America, Ireland and Germany. The group is now trading from 242 stores, 45 of which are overseas.
Mark Neale, Mountain Warehouse’s founder and chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we have delivered a fourth year of record results. Once again we have delivered an excellent year, with sales climbing in stores, online and overseas.
“The past year has been a tough one for the UK retail sector and our performance vindicates the hard work we have done to ensure we give customers the right products at the right price both online and in store.”
Mountain Warehouse said it has also worked to ensure its performance is unaffected by the erratic British weather.
Mr Neale added: “There would have been a time when I was terrified by a hot, sunny day. But we have worked very hard to weather-proof the business, ensuring that we have great products come sunshine or snow, hail or heat wave. This has certainly paid off in recent weeks when the weather has been very changeable.
“Trading in the new financial year remains strong. The popularity of our kids’ ranges has been particularly pleasing, helped by the successful launch of our new range designed with Steve Backshall. We are looking forward to a strong summer as families start to think about the holidays and turn to us for everything from t-shirts to shorts and sandals to swimsuits.”
Online sales rose 47 per cent over the last year and now account for 20 per cent of sales. Twenty per cent of its sales are now overseas.
Forty more stores are planned for 2016/17 – with approximately half overseas – creating up to another 400 jobs.
Mountain Warehouse has 18 stores in Yorkshire. Apart from York, it also has branches in locations including Batley, Beverley, Castleford and Ilkley.
The company was founded almost 20 years ago at a single shop in Swindon. It now employs more than 2,000 people. It sells more than 12 million items a year; from jackets and fleeces to rucksacks and sleeping bags. It also sells items for running and cycling.