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Upholstery chain Sofaworks grew sales beyond £100m for the first time last year after what it described as a market leading like-for-like performance.


The 26-store retailer grew total sales by 13.6 per cent, or £12.1m, to £101.3m in the year to end December, with growth also coming from an enlarged store footprint and online. Gross margin increased 60 basis points to 40.4 per cent.


It cited store openings in Coventry, Solihull and Stockton as well as its investment in an additional warehouse at Rugby. Its higher admin costs meant profits were down, with EBITDA halving to £1.7m and pre-tax earnings falling 82 per cent to £460k.


However, Sofaworks said its heavy investment during the year - including £4.1m on fixed assets and growing average staff numbers by 156 to 750 - wouldn’t lead to higher fixed costs as it grew over the next five years.


It said its investments had been wholly funded from existing resources. Year end net cash totalled £8m (2012: £9.9m) and even after its investment outlay would have been broadly maintained at year earlier levels but for a £1.5m shareholder dividend.


* all figures from the accounts of Sofaworks Ltd. Consolidated accounts of Brian Tyldesley Ltd are not yet available from Companies House. Historically, the holding company accounts have been broadly in line with the main trading arm and, unless they differ substantially, no further results story will be published