SHIRTMAKER TM Lewin today said it had weathered the economic downturn after full-year profits rose 7% and sales growth accelerated over the spring.
The company, which was founded in 1898 and now has 79 stores in the UK, reported operating profits of £9 million in the year to February 28, while sales rose by the same rate to £83.4 million.
It said the performance would have been better without the snow disruption in the early part of 2010 and added that sales in the first three months of the new financial year were up by 27% on a year earlier.
The roll-out of new products helped drive the sales growth, with tailoring now representing 19% of menswear sales and the newly launched Buckingham single cuff shirt also proving popular.
As a result of promotional activity needed to drive sales in the challenging environment, Lewin said its full-year gross margin fell back slightly after 10 years of steady growth.
It has been able to reduce the level of discounting in recent months and said it had regained margin since the year-end.
Chief executive Geoff Quinn, who has been with the company for 30 years, said the company had demonstrated its resilience in difficult trading conditions.
He added: "Our second half, which includes Christmas, is traditionally our stronger period and we are confident we will deliver full year results ahead of last year."
The company, which employs 870 people, opened eight new stores and one concession during the year. They were at Bridgend, Swindon, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Regent Street, Euston, High Holborn, Spalding and Reading.