According to Companies House, the luxury retail department store reported a profit of 41.7 million pounds after tax, compared to the 57.3 million pound loss in the prior year due to COVID-19 and Brexit.
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Sales surged by 35.5 percent to 581.9 million pounds despite the store being closed for 10 weeks between January and April 2021. However, the ease of lockdown returned Harrod’s core customers and international visitors, especially from the Middle East.
The company’s transactional revenue in the period was 1.56 billion pounds, up 42.6 percent compared to the previous period’s 1.09 billion pounds.
The London store made a pretax profit of 51 million pounds after losing 68 million pounds a year earlier; simultaneously the store has lost more than 400 workers, bringing it to a total of 3,511 employees.
“2021 saw the business begin an encouraging recovery despite the continued, although moderating, impact of the pandemic. Our performance was greatly impacted by our Knightsbridge store being closed for 10 weeks during the third lockdown, international travel remaining subdued, and the suspension of the VAT Retail Export Scheme,” said Tim Parker, chief financial officer at Harrods.
“We also continued to invest in our physical and digital offering during the pandemic, showcasing our confidence in the outlook for the business. Trade performance toward the end of the year was particularly encouraging, highlighting the strength of our long-standing customer and brand relationships as well as the continued resilience of the luxury market,” he added.
Michael Ward, Harrods’ managing director’s salary was doubled to 2.3 million pounds in the period. The business said it is confident it will bounce back to its pre-pandemic levels.
This year, the store in Knightsbridge unveiled a new men’s space dedicated to sunglasses, grooming and fragrances on the second floor as part of the company’s storewide redevelopment plan, which began in 2018 and is expected to finish in early 2024. In 2021, the retailer opened a 4,000-square-foot space focusing on men’s sportswear.