Bonus cheer for staff at The Entertainer after profits hike

More than 1,700 staff at high street retailer The Entertainer are to share a record £3 million in bonuses after the group notched up a 31% surge in annual profits.

The toy company – which recently bought the Early Learning Centre (ELC) from Mothercare – announced the bonus cheer after profits jumped to £15.1 million thanks to a 12.3% increase in like-for-like sales over the year to January 28.

It also saw online sales leap 38% higher at

The group’s bonus compares with £1.9 million paid out the previous year.

As well as its staff bonus, The Entertainer also said it was making charitable donations of £1.6 million after the rise in annual profits, with total donations at £2.7 million thanks also to payroll giving, “pennies” and carrier bag donations.

Its results come after the deal was announced last week to buy the ELC business from Mothercare for up to £13.5 million.

ELC is run within 80 Mothercare stores in the UK, 400 stores internationally via franchise partners, and online.

The acquisition also includes ELC’s portfolio of toy brands, such as Happyland.

Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “2019 will see us continue to keep a tight control on costs, further strengthen our own-label product offering through our Addo brand, ensure we are first to market on key trends and of course offer excellent value for money to our customers.

“Our ambitious growth agenda will continue after our exciting start to the year with the acquisition of ELC, and we will continue to look at every opportunity to expand our presence both nationally and internationally.”

Mr Grant and his wife Catherine founded The Entertainer in 1981 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

It employs 1,530 staff across its 163 stores and 211 at its Amersham head office.