17/12/2012 05:18 GMT

TM Lewin Refinancing Deal Welcomed, As The Fight Against The Recession Goes On

Shirt retailer TM Lewin has successfully negotiated a refinancing deal, including deferring its loans payable to lenders.

According to a report in the Financial Mail on Sundau, the company said it had altered its banking facilities to 'more sensible terms' and that it had repaid a 'senior' loan of £15 million during 2012.

The recession has hit TM Lewin fairly hard, with a tough sales environment and a downward pressure on margins from a rise in office wear competitors hitting its profits. Despite this, it hit the £100m sales barrier for the first time in during the last quarter.

Geoff Quinn, chief executive, said in a statement accompanying the company's financial statement in November that the expansion of its store in the UK and abroad was helping the brand to build on its market position.

"We have finalised a three-pronged strategy for our medium-term development: maintain and build on our outstanding leading market position in the UK; build our international business over the next four years with sales equivalent to the UK's today; and, build out a fully integrated multi-channel sales platform to ensure we optimise the opportunities across all our markets," Quinn said.

"We've made an excellent start to the current financial year, with sales in the first half up 9% in a very challenging market. We have an outstanding team driving a growth strategy which, together, will enable us to realise our ambition of establishing the brand worldwide."

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, business analyst for Company Watch Nick Hood said while the brand had done well in terms of sales, it was going to continue to face a difficult retail environment.

"It's no easy task selling office wear into a market saturated with the fear of unemployment right now, especially in the financial services sector where much of its customer base is focussed.

“The re-financing is welcome for a company with such high gearing, although the extended repayment dates for its outstanding loans will come at the cost of increased interest bills, which will be a drag on future profits. The company's balance sheet was looking a little stretched, so any improvement is welcome."