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Profits at owner of Trespass increase by 27%

PROFITS at outdoor clothing company Jacobs and Turner have soared almost 27% despite the difficult retail environment.

The Glasgow firm, better known for its Trespass brand and retail chain, saw turnover increase 16% from £53.3 million to £61.8 million in the 12 months to June 26, 2011.

Brothers Afzal and Akmal Khushi, who control the business, could also toast pre-tax profits rising from £2.4m to £3.05m.

In notes to the Jacobs and Turner accounts, the directors said: "With the high street experiencing extremely testing times, the increase in the profitability of the group was pleasing.

"Sales on both sides of the business have seen significant growth, and this was the main factor in driving the improvement. On the retail side, the company continued to expand with the opening of new shops, as well as replacing some old shops with better options within similar locations.

"The property market remained fairly soft, thus allowing the same aggressive roll-out programme to continue on attractive terms.

"The effect of the investment in an increased retail estate is being comfortably absorbed within the company's performance."

Weather conditions, the general state of the economy, changing fashions and exchange rate volatility were all highlighted as potential pitfalls in the current trading year.

But the Khushi brothers maintained their commitment to continue growing the business.

They said: "The directors are cautiously optimistic and expect the financial strength of the company to allow it to continue its upward progression.

"It is also felt that the industry will go through a period of consolidation and that we should be in a strong position to benefit from this."

Around £2.3m was spent on leases, fit-outs, plant and machinery, motor vehicles and computer equipment during the year.

Staff costs rose from £9.7m to £11m as employee numbers increased from 746 to 872, mainly through additions on the retail side of the business.

Directors' emoluments were flat at £221,090, with the highest paid receiving £110,545.

No dividend was paid following the £2m windfall in the previous year.

Net debt went from £4.16m to almost £7m. The company said it had increased the value of its forward foreign exchange contracts from £9.4m to £28.1m.

Jacobs and Turner was founded in 1938 as a workwear clothing manufacturer before Chaudry Khushi, who then owned a grocery business, bought the factory for £1000 in the late 1960s.

By the end of the 1970s Chaudry's sons Afzal and Akmal had joined and were starting to push the business towards specialising in winter sportswear and other outdoor clothing.

In 1980 an export arm was opened and the company now sells its products in more than 60 countries.

Trespass entered the retail trade towards the end of the 1990s and now has more than 80 stores in the UK plus dozens more franchised around the world.

In 2007 the company bought retail chain Nevisport out of administration, saving around 80 jobs.

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