Dry cleaning business Johnson showed an upturn in fortunes today after its radical move to jettison more than 100 poorly performing outlets.
The business, which now trades from 336 branches under the Johnson Cleaners and Jeeves of Belgravia brands, achieved profits of £700,000 and like-for-like sales growth of 3.4% in the six months to June 30. It made a loss of £100,000 at the same stage a year earlier.
Its parent company Johnson Service Group lifted profits by 52% to £5.5 million, helped by the drycleaning turnaround and strong trading at its textile rental arm, which includes recent acquisition, Cannon Textile Care.
Executive chairman John Talbot said the company was starting to see a "significant improvement" in performance in the dry cleaning business.
It has offloaded loss-making stores over the past year in order to focus on areas with higher footfall, as well as given greater freedom to branch managers to drive revenues.
The Cheshire-based company is now planning a nationwide marketing campaign behind its eco-friendly Greenearth cleaning technology and products, which use a liquid silicone solvent derived from sand and breaks down easily into natural elements.
The company's textile services arm is made up of Apparelmaster, which provides workwear rental and laundry services to leading firms, and Stalbridge Linen Services, a provider of linen to the hospitality and corporate events market. It grew half-year operating profits by 12% to £8.6 million.