Topshop swings to loss as chain struggles in tough retail environment

Topshop swung to a loss last year as the Sir Philip Green-owned fashion chain struggled in a tough environment for high street firms.

The retailer, which comprises both Topshop and Topman, made a £10.9 million loss for the year to August 26 2017, as compared to a £59.4 million profit in the prior year.

Sales were down by 6%, falling from £990.8 million to £933.6 million, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

The business took a £12.6 million hit in the year, which it said was due to an impairment on a fixed asset and provisions for the retailer's onerous leases.

Retailers make provisions for onerous leases when the cost of a lease is no longer covered by the income of the store.

Retail mogul Sir Philip Green (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Retail mogul Sir Philip Green (Isabel Infantes/PA)

In its accounts, Topshop hiked its provision for new loss-making stores from £730,000 to £4.2 million.

The figures come after Sir Philip's Taveta Investments, the holding company behind his collection of high street brands, fell by 42% from £215.2 million to £124.1 million.

Total sales at the group dropped 5.6% in the year to August 26 2017, sliding from £2.01 billion to £1.91 billion.

The future of Sir Philip's retail empire, known as Arcadia Group, was thrown into doubt this year after reports alleged the billionaire was trying to sell the business to Chinese textiles firm Shandong Ruyi.

Arcadia owns a string of prominent high street clothing brands including Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton Menswear, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Evans and Wallis.

Sir Philip, who MPs branded the "unacceptable face of capitalism" after his doomed sale of BHS, denied he was trying to sell Arcadia.

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