Womenswear chain Karen Millen is expected to report profits of £21 million for the year to February 2011 when it publishes its annual accounts next month.
It is expected that the fashion retailer will report a 5 per cent increase in profits and a 15 per cent rise in turnover compared with the previous years.
Stores and concessions in Russia and other Eastern European countries are believed to have contributed a large part of the growth.
Karen Millen, which is 90 per cent owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has 94 stores in Britain as well as a further 120 concessions and franchises across the globe.
Sunday Times reports today that Kaupthing, the collapsed Icelandic bank at the centre of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) used cash from British savers to inflate its own share price artificially, one of its top customers has claimed. Kevin Stanford, boss of the All Saints fashion chain and co-founder of Karen Millen, said Kaupthing operated a scheme to prop up its shares for at least a year before it collapsed in October 2008.He said British deposits gathered through Kaupthing Edge, an online savings account that had 160,000 customers, were funnelled to some of the bank’s richest customers — on the condition they used the cash to buy shares in the bank. Stanford’s allegations, made in a legal letter seen by The Sunday Times, come days after a series of high-profile raids by the SFO in connection with the Kaupthing affair. Seven men were arrested, including Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, the property tycoons.The SFO’s inquiry is not directly related to Stanford’s claim. Investigators are probing Kaupthing’s close relationship with the Tchenguiz brothers, particularly in the 15 months before its collapse.
All Saints, the clothing retailer known for its grungy chic and striking store designs, has been put up for sale by its Icelandic shareholders in a deal that could value the chain at £140m. All Saints, which as 63 stores and 47 concessions in the UK, Europe, the US and Russia, is majority-owned by Kevin Stanford, the entrepreneur. However the sale has been initiated by adminstrators to Kaupthing and Glitnir, the collapsed Icelandic banks which hold significant minority stakes. Ernst & Young is already in contact with a "select" group of investors, according to a source close to the sale process. It is understood that Mr Stanford, who is the retailer's chairman, is planning to roll over all or part of his stake as part of the sale. Read more on Telegraph
Private equity firm Towerbrook Capital is in talks to buy High Street retailer Phase Eight for almost £80m.As well as Towerbrook, several other private equity firms, including LDC, the buyout arm of Lloyds Banking Group, and mid-market rival Inflexion have been holding discussions to acquire the company. The negotiations come as Phase Eight looks to refinance the company's senior debt, which is provided by failed Icelandic investment bank Kaupthing. Read more on Telegraph
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