Today’s news in brief-12/10/23

Next is reportedly in the final stages of acquiring clothing brand FatFace in a deal worth over £100 million. This move follows Next’s recent acquisitions, including a majority stake in Reiss, the brand name and assets of Cath Kidston, and the acquisition of The group also has investments in various other brands. Rothschild was reportedly appointed by FatFace owners for strategic advice last May.

Hotel Chocolat’s revenue dropped by 10% to £204.5m in the year ending July 2, 2023, attributed to lower online and international sales. UK revenues fell by 8% year-on-year, but there was an 8% increase in store sales during the same period. The company reported a loss before tax of £800,000, compared to a profit of £21.7m in the previous fiscal year.

Marks Electrical experienced a remarkable 24.8% increase in revenues, reaching £53.9m in the first half of the year. The company saw substantial growth in categories like televisions (71%), washer-dryers (74%), and American fridge-freezers (36%). Their premium next-day service offerings also showed significant growth in installation services.

Pepco Group, owner of Poundland in the UK and Dealz brands in Europe, reported a 17.7% revenue increase to £4.8bn during FY23. This growth was driven by strong performance in the Pepco brand and Poundland. Full-year EBITDA is projected to be around £647m. The group achieved a record 668 net new store openings during the financial year.


The UK economy demonstrated growth, estimated at 0.2% in August 2023, following a 0.6% decline in July. Over a three-month period ending August 2023, GDP showed a 0.3% increase. This growth was primarily fueled by a 0.4% surge in the services sector, driven by professional, scientific, and technical activities, as well as education.

N Brown reported a 97% drop in profit before tax, falling from £4.3m to £0.1m for the 26 weeks ending September 2, 2023. The company’s revenue also contracted by 10.4% to £297m for the same period. This was attributed to challenging market conditions, including unseasonable weather. Despite this, N Brown expects its full-year Adjusted EBITDA to align with market expectations. The first five weeks of Q3 showed improvement over the Q2 run rate.

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