Harvey Nichols Revenues Rebound Closer to Pre-pandemic Level – WWD

LONDON — Harvey Nichols saw revenues jump 58 percent to 191.7 million pounds in the 53 weeks to April 2, 2022, as international visitors began to return to London after the COVID-19 pandemic came to an end.

It represented a considerable recovery for the 192-year-old retailer, which is owned by the Hong Kong retail tycoon Dickson Poon. Harvey Nichols logged 222 million pounds in revenues in the 12 months to March 30, 2020.

According to its latest Companies House filing, the store’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were greatly improved from a loss of 28.5 million pounds in the previous year to a loss of 3.15 million pounds in the period. Total comprehensive loss for the period narrowed to 28.1 million pounds from 40.9 million pounds.

Gross margin in the period jumped almost 10 percent to 47.1 percent from 37.3 percent. The company said the increase in turnover and margin rate was boosted by “business reopening and ongoing discipline on costs.”

The consolidated results, published under the parent company Broad Gain (U.K.) Ltd., pertain to all seven Harvey Nichols stores in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland, including the Knightsbridge flagship. The results also include franchise income from the group’s six international stores in Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait, Doha and Hong Kong, which operate under license.

While the period started with all stores in full lockdown until July 2021, when all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, and the spread of the Omicron variant had a further impact on trading throughout the winter months, the company said it “remains on a strong financial footing” and will continue to invest in its online channel and in stores to achieve long-term profitable growth.

The Companies House filing from Harvey Nichols and Company Ltd., which reflects the performance of its Knightsbridge flagship, showed that the location’s turnover in the same period increased by 111.6 percent to 57.8 million pounds from 27.3 million pounds.

Compared to a bigger recovery on a group level, the flagship’s performance is still far behind its pre-pandemic level: 81.27 million pounds in fiscal 2019-20.

Hoping for a steady recovery, Manju Malhotra, chief executive officer of Harvey Nichols since January 2021, last week joined a slew of high-profile business leaders urging the British government to reintroduce tax-free shopping for international visitors.

Malhotra warned that the U.K. will “lose another summer” of business as international shoppers would snatch up designer goods in Paris and Milan over London due to more favorable pricing.

A parliamentary debate on the issue is set for Sept. 7 at Westminster Hall. The debate in the presence of the Treasury is the result of a campaign by the Association of International Retail and New West End Company, which oversees hundreds of retail and hospitality businesses around Regent and Oxford Streets.

The reopening of stores and restaurants can also be a double-edged sword for the business.

According to Companies House filing from Harvey Nichols.com Ltd., which operates the online business of the retailer, as its name suggests, revenues in the fiscal 2021-22 were down 19.3 percent compared to the prior period.

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