Outdoor goods retailer Mountain Warehouse will open a store in Oban this summer as part of plans to expand the chain after a fourth year in a row of record trading.
The group said yesterday it opened 40 outlets during the year to February 28, creating more than 400 jobs, and aimed to add the same number again during 2016/17.
Half of the new shops will be overseas, adding to the London-based group’s existing international presence in Germany and Poland.
Its new Oban store will be its 24th in Scotland, where it already has shops at locations including Aviemore, Elgin, Fort William and Inverness.
Mountain Warehouse said its record results were achieved despite a challenging time for UK retailing.
Efforts to “weather-proof” the business helped deliver a 36% year-on-year rise in pre-tax profits to £16.2million and left the firm well-equipped to cope with whatever the climate throws at its customers, the group added.
Sales were up by nearly 30% to £141.4million, boosted by demand for a new range of children’s wear created with the help of television wildlife presenter Steve Backshall.
Founder and chief executive Mark Neale said: “Once again we have delivered an excellent year, with sales climbing in stores, online and overseas.
“The past year has been a tough one for the UK retail sector and our performance vindicates the hard work we have done to ensure we give customers the right products at the right price both online and in store.
“We have worked very hard to weather-proof the business, ensuring that we have great products come sunshine or snow, hail or heatwave.
“This has certainly paid off in recent weeks when the weather has been very changeable.”
He added: “Trading in the new financial year remains strong. We are looking forward to a strong summer as families start to think about the holidays and turn to us.”
Having started with a single shop in Swindon, the company now has more than 240 stores and employs in excess of 2,000 people.