Jan 3, 2023
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Whispering Smith has good year, but recent trading is weak

Jan 3, 2023

Manchester-based fashion wholesale group Whispering Smith has filed its accounts for the year to the end of March 2022 and said that it delivered continued growth in sales. But despite its strength during the period, it also warned that it's currently facing challenges as economic conditions decline.

Whispering Smith

Revenue in the year to 31 March 2022 rose by 12% to £69 million with the company saying its portfolio of customers is “underpinned by strong, e-tailer presence”, and the “significant” increase in sales was attributable to e-tailer performance during the pandemic, and the temporary closure of retail stores during lockdown periods.

The company currently operates the Brave Soul and Night Addict labels, and has invested in expanding its range to take in accessories, loungewear and footwear.

Revenue increased, as mentioned, from £61.5 million to £69 million in the 12-month period and pre-tax profit rose to £4 million from £3.4 million. Its net profit for the year was £3.2 million, up from £2.6 million in the previous year. 

But while the company didn't give specific figures for the current trading year, it said that trading levels are “in line with the majority of businesses” in its industry, which isn’t good news. It said the group is trading below expectations on both sales and gross margin. Sales have been impacted by the global recession and the overstocking of many retailers. 

And it added that it has become challenging to protect its margin from the impact of freight issues globally. However, the period before Christmas saw freight costs levelling off.

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