Canadian women’s speciality apparel retailer Reitmans has reported net sales of $600.6m (C$800.6m) for the fiscal year (FY) 2023.

This reflects a 20.9% or $103.9m (C$138.6m) increase in the company’s net sales from $496.6m (C$661.9m) in FY22.

The retailer noted that this increase in the figures was driven by the continuous operations of its store in the current FY, which ended on 28 January 2023.

Reitmans said that most of its stores were partially closed in FY22 due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns while there were no such government-imposed lockdowns during FY23.

Other reasons for the increase in annual sales include higher average transaction value, strong customer engagement and merchandising assortment, as well as fewer markdowns and promotional discounts.

The company’s gross profit in FY23 increased to $336.6m (C$448.7m) from $265m (C$353.2m) in FY22.

Net earnings from continuing operations for the reported year went down to $58.29m (C$77.7m), with $0.89 (C$1.59) basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS), from $107.4m (C$143.2m) or $2.20 (C$2.93) basic and diluted EPS in FY22.

This downward trajectory has been attributed to higher operating costs and increased net finance costs in FY23, among other reasons.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for FY23 stood at $42.7m (C$57.0m).

Reitmans CEO and president Stephen Reitman said: “I am extremely proud of our team’s performance in fiscal 2023 after exiting from the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in January 2022 with net sales up 20.9% over fiscal 2022.

“And despite near term headwinds related to the economic environment, which impacted our performance in the fourth quarter of 2023 and which may persist through first part of FY24, we remain excited about our strong competitive positioning and ability to serve our customers as we work towards delivering on our long-term growth aspirations.”

Similar growth was recorded in the fourth quarter (Q4) of FY23, with net sales of $159.0m (C$211.9m) and gross profit of $81.40m (C$108.5m). However, adjusted EBITDA in Q4 FY23 decreased to $2.7m (C$3.7m) from $7.9m (C$10.6m) in Q4 FY22.