Business

Sir Philip Green's Arcadia targets more overseas growth

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Media captionSir Philip Green: 'We're not risk takers'

Arcadia, the owner of retail chains including Topshop and BHS, is planning further international expansion.

The group's boss, Sir Philip Green, told the BBC he was looking at South Africa, Australia and markets in Asia.

The news came as Arcadia reported a 6.4% rise in pre-tax profits to £213.2m for the year to end-August.

Sir Philip, whose firm is seen as a High Street bellwether, said he was cautious about 2011 due to a pending VAT rise and rising costs.

Arcadia trades from 2,542 owned and 579 franchised outlets in 37 countries.

But Mr Green told the BBC that there was still plenty of scope for international expansion and Arcadia was receiving inquiries from around the world - including Kazakhstan.

The group has just agreed to open five stores in Brazil, and is in discussions to set up in South Africa and Australia, he said.

"And we also have get to go to Asia. We've got to sit down and draw up a business plan," he added.

"I remain cautious about the year ahead, with increases in VAT, rates, raw materials and some wage inflation.

"But I look to grow the business both at home and overseas," Sir Philip said.

Arcadia also runs Miss Selfridge, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Topman and Wallis. Sir Philip said all the businesses were profitable.

Total sales were £2.8bn with sales at UK stores open at least a year up 1.3%, and up 1% in the first 11 weeks of the new financial year.

Efficient

Sir Philip recently advised the UK government on how to make efficiency savings, saying some of the waste in the public sector was "staggering".

One suggestion was that the state adopt the same tactics as business by introducing a lag period before it pays suppliers.

Sir Philip told the BBC that Arcadia's profit growth was nothing to do with cost-cutting, but because the group was more efficient than the competition.

"Our business model is very strong. We have a very strong supply chain. The key is to give the customers merchandise as often as they want it," he said.

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