Home Bargains turnover up 23%

TJ Morris, parent company of Home Bargains, said it enjoyed a record year with turnover up by £107m to £590m and an operating profit of £46.6m in the 12 months to the end of June.

The Merseyside-based private company opened 35 stores during the year, taking the chain's total past 200. Joe Morris, operations director, said: "We are pleased with our performance for the year. Despite increasing competition we have seen strong growth in sales and profits."

He added: "The next 12 months will be a challenging period in the discount sector. While there are opportunities for growth, competition is very strong. Profitability will be squeezed across the sector by price pressures on raw materials, transport costs, the weak pound and the VAT rise in January, which retailers will struggle, in such a competitive market, to fully pass onto customers. Only the strong will prosper."

Profit was up slightly from £43.5m in 2009 to £46.6m, reflecting the cost of store openings. The company continues to advertise for new sites as part of its ambitious business plan to reach 350 stores within four years.

The company is based in Axis Business Park, Gillmoss, where it recently doubled its warehouse from 400,000 sq ft to 800,000 sq ft. The extension is high-bay, meaning the distribution capacity will increase fourfold.

The new facility can handle 350 stores but after that a further depot, probably in the Midlands, will be required.

Liverpool-based retail surveyor Bennett represents TJ Morris.

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