Barbour results improve as royals focus attention on the brand

British outerwear specialist Barbour is making progress as the company benefits from high profile patronage and a growing interest in outdoor lifestyles.


The firm filed its accounts for the year to the end of April late last month and while they were short on detail, they did show sales of £184 million that drove operating profits to £29.4 million for the 12-month period. They were up from the £28.2 million of the previous 16-month period (the company had changed its year-end date in the prior year). 

While turnover was down 10% from the earlier period’s £205 million, on a comparable basis, it rose, although the company didn’t say by how much. Operating margins rose from 13.76% to 15.96%.

The company’s traditional waxed jackets have been popular for decades and have benefitted from holding Royal Warrants from the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales.

But in more recent periods they’ve also been given a boost by being seen on more trend-focused royals including the Duchess of Cambridge and more recently, future megastar royal Meghan Markle. 

The family-owned business’s products are available in over 40 countries, in many of which those royal connections are a crucial marketing tool. 

John Lewis recently said that Barbour coats were among its most popular womenswear items during 2017.

In the accounts, the company also said it continues to invest in IT and logistics but added that Brexit means uncertainty. “The EEA (European Economic Area) is a significant market for the business and Brexit is a source of considerable uncertainty and risk. we are currently developing various contingency plans to manage and mitigate its effect,” it said.

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