ponden-home-co-fasciaRetailer Ponden Home ended a three-year negative earnings trend to grow profits by well over a third in the year to 1st March.

The furnishings retailer saw pre-tax profits jump 42 per cent to £2m in 2013–14, buoyed by a 120 basis point positive swing in gross margin to 12.1 per cent.

That was enough to lift profits for the first time in four years, despite turnover continuing to fall. Sales fell 2.6 per cent to £27.2m, though Ponden Home said that was mainly down to the prior period covering 53 weeks, rather than the 52 in the latest reported period.

Like-for-like sales rose compared to the previous year, the company said. Ponden Home — the trading name of Duvetco — majors in soft furnishings such as bedding and window dressings such as curtains.

It trades from more than 80 locations across the UK — including concessions in retailers such as Carpetright and Peacocks — and is part of the Scotland headquartered Edinburgh Woollen Mill group.