Theo Paphitis upbeat about retail performance despite uncertainty

9th February 2023 | Jack Oliver

Former Dragon’s Den panellist Theo Paphitis has said he feels pleased with how his retail groups have performed, despite a period of trading which has seen his businesses “tested”.

Paphitis’ group includes Ryman, Robert Dyas, Boux Avenue, as well as London Graphic Centre.

In the group’s Christmas trading and 2022 financial year results, it was revealed that sales levels were on par with 2021, with its brands performing particularly well in the second half of the Christmas period.

Despite an increase of in-store growth of 55%, the group saw its ecommerce division shrink by 9.7%. As a result, store sales as a share of total business grew from 62.2% to 65.8% over the course of the year.

Yearly highlights for the group included a 5.3% growth in Robert Dyas, with December seeing the homeware retailer increase grow by 13.4%. Ryman, Boux Avenue, and London Graphic Centre all also saw growth, at 7.2%, 1.8%, and 23.1% respectively.

Despite these results, two of his businesses are facing “material uncertainty” after recording losses during the Pandemic. Stationery chain Ryman must repay a £10m government-backed loan in March, despite falling to pre-tax losses of £2m, and Boux Avenue faces net liabilities of £90m while recording a £1.5m loss.

Paphitis said he was “not concerned” about the loans however: “I’m confident and happy to put my money where my mouth is”, he said.

Despite the group’s struggles, it still intends to to open seven more Robert Dyas stores this year and has additional sites for Boux Avenue in the pipeline for 2023 and 2024.


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