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andSoToBedStoreMarket conditions in the bed sector remained challenging in 2014, according to premium bedroom retailer and franchisor And So To Bed.


Just filed accounts for the Bridport, Dorset based company—signed off back in May—show turnover was up 0.7 per cent to £14m in the year to end December.


Overseas revenues doubled to £1.4m, while UK turnover was down 4.4 per cent to £12.6m. And So To Bed said it closed one department store concession, in January, and opened a single franchised store in the Middle East in the final quarter of 2014.


Its current showroom network comprises 21 UK showrooms, and six abroad, including two in Austria, three in Saudi Arabia and one in Dubai.


And So To Bed said the beds market remained challenging, though added that its new business-to-business channel targeting interior designers and hotel developers had performed above expectations while its ecommerce business—introduced in November 2013—had resulted in online sales ahead of plan with more growth expected this year.


During 2014, gross margin was down 170 basis points to 52.1 per cent, while administrative expenses were up, largely because of £197,000 spent on building repair costs, including cash allocated to refurbishing two key stores.


Pre-tax profit declined 76 per cent to £74,467 (2013: £316,773) for the company, which—along with British bed maker Vispring—is wholly owned by the Spanish Flex group.


The company ended the year with cash and equivalents of £1.4m, in line with its 2013 balance sheet date.