Sales soar at The RangeBy Storm Rannard, Digital Staff Writer
Revenue at Plymouth-headquartered retail giant The Range has soared by almost £90m following a string of store openings across the UK.
The group, founded by Chris Dawson, one of Britain's wealthiest men, said it was "optimistic" about the future as it carries out plans to create almost 7,000 jobs across the UK by August 2016.
Accounts filed under CDS (Superstores International) Ltd, which trades as The Range, revealed that the home, garden and leisure retailer turned over £470.2m in the year to 26 January 2014.
Sales were £88m higher than last year's revenues of £381.9m, driven by an increase at existing stores and new branches.
During the period, The Range launched 16 new stores across the UK, compared with 11 in 2013. It will also open a new branch in Torquay this month, which will create 100 jobs in the town.
Dawson told Insider: "Our store opening plans are progressing well and we have opened some significant Superstores this year in Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle and Folkestone.
"We have another four stores to open between now and Christmas which include Aberdeen and Sunderland, which will leave use close to our 100th store milestone. 2015 will kickstart with openings from January and continue to create 100 jobs per opening."
Pre-tax profit also rose by more than £10m during the period to £45.2m, compared with £34.8m in 2012/13.
A statement signed off by Dawson added: "The group is optimistic about the future given the continued growth and associated economies, as well and the strength of the concept."
It also said that the company is anticipating further "significant growth" in sales in 2015.
In August 2013, Dawson outlined plans to almost double the group's workforce through 45 new store openings and expansion at its warehouses and head office. He said he hoped to create 1,750 jobs in Scotland and the remainder across England and Wales.
During the period, the retailer opened its first stores in Scotland in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. The Range now has 110 stores across England, Scotland and Wales.
Dawson was named the third wealthiest person in the region in latest South West Business Insider Rich List. He entered the top three with his £1.28bn fortune, moving up two places from 2013's ranking.
The entrepreneur started out as a market trader, earning the nickname of 'Plymouth's very own deluxe Del Boy'. The group is now estimated to be worth about £1.23bn.