ELITE furniture retailer Fishpools invested in infrastructure during a year of "solid trading and profitability against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty."


The privately-owned Waltham Cross retailer said sales were broadly flat at £29.7 million in the year to January 29, 2017 after what had been a record performance in 2015–16.

Gross margin widened 10 basis points to 46.8 percent with pretax profits totalling £1.46 million. It had made £2.7 million the previous year, though that included a sizeable gain on the sale of investment properties.

Fishpools invested £1.4 million during the year, chiefly on the expansion of its Hertford warehouse "to accommodate both the growth of recent years and the potential for growth that we are confident we can generate in the future," it said in just filed accounts.

It said its sales reflected a consistently solid performance throughout a somewhat tumultuous economic and political period.

The company said cash generation "continued to be pleasing, allowing us to further invest in the physical expansion of our warehouse in order to maintain service levels to our customers whilst also increasing stock availability and delivering another strong year-end cash position."

Cash at the balance sheet date totalled £9.6 million (2016: £11.1 mill.), with the company also owning £2.8 million of investment property. Total equity remains north of £19 million.

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