StockMarketWire.com - Value footwear retailer Shoe Zone has reported revenues grew to £162m, while pre-tax profit was down to £9.6m in a 'difficult year' in its preliminary results for the 53 weeks to 5 October 2019.

Revenue grew 0.9% in the period, with 21 Big Box store openings in 2019 which resulted in a total of 45 Big Box stores by end of December, contributing revenue of £15.6m.

The retailer said it had maintained its product gross margin at 62.7% and ended the year with a cash balance of £11.4m, following £1.5m higher capex spend and a £4m special dividend paid during the year.

Digital revenue grew 9.2% to reach £10.6m during the period.

Shoe Zone trialled four new 'hybrid' town centre stores in 2019 and has plans to convert a further 20 in 2020.

Shoe Zone chief executive Anthony Smith said: 'Despite it being a difficult year for Shoe Zone, the business has achieved revenue growth, and delivered underlying profit before tax marginally ahead of our revised expectations following our revaluation of freehold property.'

Smith added: 'The core business model remains robust and combined with the refreshed strategy of Big Box expansion, higher digital growth and town centre renewal, the board is confident that this enhanced strategic focus will improve customer experience, increase market share and drive shareholder returns.'

The company has proposed a final dividend of 8p per share, in line with its 2018 dividend.



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