In the latest annual financial report, the parent company of esteemed fashion labels Whistles, Hobbs, and Phase Eight reveals a remarkable resurgence in profitability, despite Phase Eight’s challenges due to store closures.


The overall outlook showcases a robust recovery from the pandemic, with Whistles and Hobbs spearheading the comeback. Increased sales, coupled with strategic markdown reductions, have substantially bolstered profits for the parent company.

Total turnover for the broader business surged to £337.7 million, up from £310 million in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA rose to £38.9 million from £36.8 million, and operating profit experienced a significant upswing, reaching £28.1 million—a notable improvement from the prior year’s £19.9 million. The parent company achieved a net profit of £3.5 million, marking a remarkable turnaround from the £0.1 million loss reported previously.

The impressive gross margin grew to 66.7% from 64.8%, driven by an increased proportion of full-price sales, fewer promotional days, and a focused approach to optimizing stock allocation for key partners.

This success story extended to the individual brands. Whistles, the premium fashion retailer, reported a turnover increase to £73.7 million from £71 million. Adjusted EBITDA improved to £8 million from £7 million, and operating profit surged to £6.4 million, up from £4.9 million. Net profit also saw a substantial rise, reaching £5.6 million—a robust improvement from the previous year’s £3.3 million.

In the UK, Whistles opened one new store and three concessions while closing three stores and six concessions. Internationally, it launched four concessions and closed one, resulting in a total of 123 outlets in the UK by the end of the year.


Hobbs, the mid-market womenswear retailer catering to a slightly older demographic with tailored, smart daywear, and occasionwear, reported a notable increase in turnover, rising to £129.3 million from £113.5 million.

Adjusted EBITDA rose to £18.6 million from £17.4 million, and operating profit showed significant growth, reaching £11.9 million, up from £7.8 million the previous year. Net profit for Hobbs also experienced a noteworthy increase, reaching £10 million, compared to £7.2 million.

The company achieved a headline gross margin of 64.7%, up from 61.9%, largely attributed to a reduced reliance on markdowns.

Phase Eight

In contrast, Phase Eight reported a decline in turnover to £96.3 million from £97.1 million, and adjusted EBITDA decreased to £3.4 million from £5 million. The company faced an operating loss of £2.1 million, down from a profit of £4.9 million the previous year, and net profit decreased to £3.7 million, compared to £6.7 million.

Phase Eight underwent a restructuring phase involving the closure of several stores and concessions, resulting in a net total of 107 outlets, down from 136. The headline gross margin decreased to 58.8% from 59.6%, partly due to higher stock levels, although the selling margin remained positive year-on-year thanks to a full-price strategy.

It will be intriguing to observe the financial performance in the coming year, with the company’s recent actions expected to yield positive results.

Positive Outlook for the Parent Company

In conclusion, TFG reported robust financial results despite challenging economic conditions in the UK. The company’s solid post-Covid recovery indicates a promising trajectory.

While the return to a «normal» consumer demand pattern remains uncertain, and tough economic conditions continue to influence consumer sentiment and purchasing habits, the resurgence of in-store shopping highlights the significance of TFG’s omnichannel approach. Store footfall is on an upward trend, and the company is actively strengthening its digital capabilities to navigate the evolving retail landscape.

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