Demand for British products spurs record year for Fortnum & Mason

The historic food and drink brand has announced record sales and profit figures

At the end of a challenging year on the high street, Fortnum & Mason has demonstrated that its products are in demand more than ever, and has grown its sales by 14 per cent, and its profits by 23 per cent.

In the course of the financial year, ending in July 2017, Fortnum's online sales have grown by 17 per cent on the previous year. Fortnum's has delivered its products to more than 120 countries worldwide, and in the course of the year, a new outlet has been opened in South Korea, with three more in South Korea planned for 2018.

As the non-domestic customer base continues to grow, Fortnum's has also seen an encouraging rise in domestic traffic, both online and in its stores in London.

"I am particularly thrilled by the rise in domestic consumers over the past year," said Ewan Venters, CEO of Fortnum's. "Customers who care about the taste, quality and sustainability of their food are coming to Fortnum's in increasing numbers, be it in our stores or online."

The company's annual results reveal net profit of £7.6m on record net sales of £113m. The rise of 14 per cent in sales is the fifth successive year of double-digit sales increases. There have been particular highlights within the Fortnum's portfolio: sales of the brand's iconic hampers are up 15 per cent, tea sales rose by 18 per cent and the recently refurbished fragrance and beauty floor saw a like-for-like increase in sales of 21 per cent. 82 per cent of the turnover came from products manufactured in the UK.

"We are particularly proud of our British heritage, and I am delighted that we are helping many artisanal businesses in all corners of the nation," said Kate Hobhouse, chairman of Fortnum's.

Fortnum's has also invested significantly in the future over the past year, with the launch of a new apprenticeship scheme that has 25 people already in position. A total of 49 new full-time positions have also been created, and £7m has been invested in infrastructure.

"We are now anticipating a busy and successful Christmas period," continued Venters. "In times of uncertainty, customers turn to brands they trust and we have noticed an upsurge in the sales of traditional products recently. For example, this Christmas we are seeing a 60 per cent rise in the sales of advent calendars, priced between £6.95 and £125. I am pleased that we are able to fulfil our remit to be the traditional home of Christmas, while not losing sight of our restless quest to innovate and remain relevant to customers from home and abroad."

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