Retail turnaround specialist SKG Capital has announced that it has taken bedding and linen retailer Julian Charles to a breakeven position from a £2.1m EBITDA loss in the 18-month period to October 2020.
The Manchester-based homewares heritage brand, which was founded in 1947 and trades from 75 locations across the UK (including 41 leased stores, the rest being concessions), was acquired by SKG Capital in June last year. In the 12-month period to April 2019, the retailer made an EBITDA loss of £452,000. The retailer was further damaged by lockdowns, and in the 18-month period to October 2020, made an EBITDA loss of £2.1m.
In the six-month period to April 2021 under SKG Capital's ownership, Julian Charles reached an EBITDA breakeven point. The turnaround has been the result of a strategic focus on online while maintaining a presence on the high street, the launch of new designs and patterns to appeal to younger demographics, and the general resiliency of the homewares market.
SKG also bolstered the management team, enlisting Simon Peck as MD and Steve Edwards (from Ryman) as finance director. The turnaround was overseen by SKG partner and former chief executive of HMV, Neil Taylor.
Neil says: “Julian Charles is a strong British brand with a proud history, amazing people, and great product, and we are pleased to bring it back onto a sound financial footing once again. There’s still more to do, but the business is firmly on the right path to further growth and in a strong position to navigate the new retail environment, both online and on the high street. We are absolutely confident in the future growth and success of the business – the first months of this new financial year are seeing us make very positive steps towards profitability.”
Simon Peck adds: “I am delighted that we have restored the business to a stable financial position with the support of SKG. We are now in robust shape and are poised for an excellent period of future growth, with significant opportunities to deliver attractive profit this year.”