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Harrods has been working to revamp and open new instore restaurants

Luxury department store Harrods has hailed a “year of recovery” following a strong set of results.

Turnover at its Knightsbridge store and website grew by 43% to nearly £832m in the year to 28 January 2023, according to accounts posted at Companies House this week.

The Qatari-owned company credited an increase in footfall due to the fact that the store was able to remain open the full year, having been closed for parts of the previous one. Those customers spent heavily despite the cost of living crisis, with gross transaction value growing by 47% to £2.3bn. It helped the business grow operating profit 184% to £158m.

“2022 was a year of recovery and growth as we, like many others, continued to emerge from the impact of the Covid pandemic,” said Harrods CFO Tim Parker.

“At the beginning of 2022, with many international travel restrictions still in place, there was a subdued return of the global tourism trade that is so important to the UK.

“As restrictions lifted and the year progressed, we saw a strong trade performance with our full-year gross transaction value exceeding 2019 figures. This performance was in part driven by our robust operating model and ongoing investment in our physical and digital estate.”

The luxury retailer, which is famed for its designer brands and “ultra gourmet” Christmas dinners, does not break down the sales per category. However, like its rival department stores including Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols, Harrods has been focusing on its food, drink and hospitality experiences at its flagship Knightsbridge store.

In 2022, chef Björn Frantzén opened the Studio Frantzén restaurant on the building’s top floor.

“We remain focused on driving future growth via the curation of exclusive products and experiences that can only be found in Harrods, further enhancements in 2023 including new womenswear and furniture rooms as well as the ongoing development of our dining offerings and expansion of our private shopping services,” Parker said.

The strong results reflected a strong recovery across the wider Harrods Group, which files separately as Harrods Group (Holding) Limited. The business, which includes exports and its property estate, as well as aviation maintenance services, posted operating profits of £202.7m during the same period, up from £71m the year before.