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Business & Economy

Strong demand puts spring in step of The Clinkard Group

A national footwear firm founded nearly 100 years ago in the North East is treading on more solid ground after returning to profit.

The Clinkard Group has swung back into the black.

According to annual figures to January 29, released today (Thursday, July 28), pre-tax profit stood at £1.4 million.

The figure compares starkly against £2.5 million losses during the previous year, with the improvement helped by sales growth of 29 per cent and turnover rising from £23.9 million to £30.8 million.

And bosses say they are “confident” over future trading, adding the firm – set up in Middlesbrough in 1924 – will complement traditional bricks and mortar stores with e-commerce channels to maintain its momentum.

Tim Payne, managing director of retail, said: “We are confident the business will remain profitable for the rest of the new financial year after a positive first half of 2022.

“Online sales helped us navigate through the pandemic and while our main challenge has traditionally been to be in the right location, we now need to take into consideration post-pandemic habits and adjust our strategy accordingly.

“The business must remain agile in order to respond quickly to changing trends in retail and stay ahead of what our customers expect and need.

“Our focus for the future is integrating our multi-channel offering, ensuring that whether a customer visits us in-store or online, they receive a consistently high-level of care, knowledge and expertise.”

Jonathan Mankin, finance director, added: “We are delighted to return to profit.

“We are in a strong cash position, and, despite the current conditions, feel positive the financial year ahead will be a success.”

The Clinkard Group employs more than 480 people, and acts as a wholesale agent for a number of European footwear brands.