Pure Beauty

Frasers Group bounces back with record-breaking profits

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 21-Jul-2022

The Mike Ashley-founded firm's profit recovery was driven by the reopening of stores following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as continued operating efficiencies

British retailer Fraser Group has reported a record-breaking year for profits, despite a significant increase in running costs.

The Mike Ashley-founded business saw profits before tax jump by £344.8m in the year to April 2022, compared with the £39.9m loss it posted the previous year.

Overall revenues, meanwhile, increased by 30.9% to £4.75bn during the period.

The financial recovery was fueled by the reopening of stores following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as continued operating efficiencies.

This was further supported by new Flannels stores driving growth in the group’s premium lifestyle category, which saw revenues leap by 43.6% to £1.056bn.

The multi-brand retailer, which was fully acquired by Frasers Group in 2017, has been growing its beauty offering in the UK over the past two years.

Flannels launched two concept stores in Leicester and Sheffield in 2021, and last month opened a beauty space at its new luxury shopping destination in Liverpool.

Michael Murray, who took over as CEO of Frasers Group from Ashley in 2021, said he was “proud” of the group’s current progress.

“It's clear that our elevation strategy is working and we are building incredible momentum with new store openings, digital capabilities and deeper brand partnerships across all of our divisions,” he added.

Murray noted, however, that the current strains on the UK economy and high street could still have an impact on business’ potential.

This includes supply chain issues and challenges brought on by the rising cost of living.

However, the retailer is still forecasting profits to soar by 45% in 2023, to be between £450m and £500m.

Murray continued: “We've got the right strategy, team and determination to keep driving our business from strength to strength."

Last year Fraser Group opened its first Frasers multi-brand store aiming to win over luxury shoppers.

Located in Mander Shopping Centre, Wolverhampton, the 34,000sqft outlet is on a former Debenhams site and follows a multi-million 18-month revamp.

The move is a part of retail mogul Ashley’s ambitions to turn the department store chain into “the Harrods of the high street”.

The beauty department includes high street staples such as Dior, Benefit and Laura Mercier.

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