News roundup—14th October 2008

News roundup—14th October 2008

Yes, 2008 is nearly over, but fashion cataloguer Boden
has only now got round to releasing its financials for 2007.
Annual sales rose 19.5 per cent, to £153.6 million for the
year ended 31st December. The US accounted for 31 per cent of
those sales or £47.8 million-up 35 per cent from the
previous year. Pretax profit rose 20.7 per cent, to £27.4
million. For the first half of 2008, sales were up a more modest
9 per cent from the first half of 2007.

EBTM, a direct marketer of licensed music apparel, is
selling its Lowlife accessory brand less than 18 months
after acquiring it. The buyer is Plus Brands, a company owned
by Lowlife founder (and EBTM shareholder) Dale Masters. EBTM
expects the sale, part of a restructuring of its wholesale
business, to produce annualised savings of £600,000.

The credit crunch has been a boon for Littlewoods
parent company Shop Direct Group, according to the
Liverpool Echo. Then again, the paper
insists on calling the company “Littlewoods Shop
Direct”, one of its former names, so you might want to
take what it says with a pinch of salt.

Toys retailer/cataloguer Hamleys and department store
House of Fraser are taking pains to clarify that though
Icelandic investment group Baugur owns shares of them,
they are each an independent business and therefore unaffected by
Baugur’s well-documented financial woes, The Guardian reports.

Online grocery firm Ocado has added toys to its
product range, according to The Times.


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