Cath Kidston plans new flagship

Cath KidsonHomewares chain Cath Kidston is to open its largest ever store this year after sales leapt 19% to £105 million due to strong UK and overseas growth.

The fastest rise for the company's fashion and homeware products came mainly from Asia, but sales also grew 21% in the UK, where it launched its latest store at Harrods last Friday.

The retailer, founded in West London 20 years ago by English fashion designer Cath Kidston, grew by 33 to 118 shops over the year.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson said that despite the potential overseas, where international sales are up 53%, he remains committed to growing business closer to home.

"As a British brand it is very important for us to be successful in the UK," he said.

The retailer has 58 stores across the country after launching eight over the year.

Mr Wilson said this expansion is being driven by high demand for its aspirational but affordable products, which range from mugs to handbags.

The company opened its first store in China in January and is planning to open another in Shanghai this year, as well as its new flagship store in Piccadilly, London.

While most of its shops are now located overseas, Mr Wilson said that most are partnerships and that the vast majority of Cath Kidston's more than 1,000 employees remain based in the UK.

"With the broad appeal of our products across the globe and the strong customer response to our brand in both the UK and Asia, we look to the future with confidence," he said.

Full-year earnings climbed 13% to £21 million.