In the year to the end of February the family-owned national retailer, which has 72 stores, also saw annual turnover increase 12.4 per cent to £143.2 million.
Operating profit was up from £12.8m to £17.2m for the company which celebrated its centenary last year and has seen six years of consecutive growth.
Despite the global pandemic, the retailer is expecting to retain strong levels of profit in 2020 and has seen a strong recovery after lockdown with sales up 12.2 per cent from August to October.
£1.78m has been donated to charity in the financial year from both the company and the Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust
Gross profit margins increased to 18.4 per cent as a result of careful management of costs across the business which has shops in the Merry Hill and Telford shopping centres .
The 2020 plan for the business was to celebrate and build on its success, but Beaverbrooks barely had time to do either before the global pandemic hit in spring.
Mark Adlestone, chairman of Beaverbrooks, said: “We’ve just had the six most profitable years in our history, which we’re delighted with, and without doubt provided a strong financial footing as we entered 2020. Last year was an important year for us as we celebrated our centenary, so to reach this milestone and achieve the many accolades awarded to the company during this period, is fantastic.
“We are immensely proud of what we achieved as a business in 2019-2020, however no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic in 2020, and the challenges this would bring for the sector as a whole. By respecting our heritage and values, staying true to our purpose, and adapting to the continually changing landscape, we’re seeing continued growth this year, so we’re optimistic about what the future will bring.”
Anna Blackburn, managing director at Beaverbrooks, said: “There is no doubt that our last financial year, the best in the company’s history, provided us with a strong foothold to get through 2020 and beyond. Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, we’ve experienced positive trading across both stores and online which has put us in a strong position as we approach Q4. This demonstrates that business agility and continued investment in people and product can deliver sustained success.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that the way we responded would define our next chapter – we had to be strategic in our approach instead of making knee jerk reactions. Our people-centric ethos has been absolutely vital for us, now more than ever before. Throughout the pandemic we’ve ensured all of our colleagues felt engaged with our business decisions and direction, and this level of engagement is now paying into the bottom line.”