Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason unveils record profits

THE QUEEN’S grocer Fortnum & Mason has announced record annual profits after the busiest period in its 307-year history.

Ewan Venters, chief executive, and Kate Hobson, chairman, unveil the Christmas windows at Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly in central London.

The London-based retailer said sales rose 14 per cent to £74.4m in the 12 months to July.

Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £3.8m.

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The company said the strong financial performance was driven by excellent sales at its flagship Piccadilly store and its ambitious growth strategy, which included the opening of two new sites.

Fortnum’s opened its first new store in more than 300 years last November at St Pancras International Station.

Its first standalone store outside of the UK opened in Dubai in March on a licensed basis. Fortnum’s opened a 1,000 sq ft store at Heathrow Terminal 5 last week.

Ewan Venters, chief executive, said: “We are thrilled with the figures. The last financial year was a landmark one for us and the new stores at St Pancras, and in Dubai, have both been big success stories Piccadilly has gone from strength to strength too.” Mr Venters added: “Looking to the future, we know we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.

“We’ll continue to invest in the business to provide our customers with the best possible experience, in-stores and online, and we’re all set to launch a number of extremely exciting initiatives in 2015 that will, hopefully, see us deliver another set of record breaking results next year.”

Hamper sales and tea sales increased by 18 and 13 per cent respectively. Online sales increased by 25 per cent.

Fortnum’s was founded in Piccadilly in 1707.

It owned by Wittington Investments Ltd.

Wittington Investments is owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Weston family, who also own Associated British Foods, the home of Primark.