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Women’s fashion retailer Missguided has seen losses deepen after what it said was an “extremely challenging” year. According to accounts newly filed with Companies House, it made a pre-tax loss of £46m in the year to 1 April 2018.

That compared with a £1.6m loss in the previous 12-month period. The firm, which began as a purely online retailer before adding four bricks-and-mortar stores, said the shops were too large and cost more to run than they brought in.

Missguided also blamed “premature” investment in extra management for its worsening financial position. The firm is seen as part of a new breed of “fast-fashion” online firms that also include Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing.

“The year has been an extremely challenging one from which the brand emerges stronger,” Missguided said in its strategic report for the period.

“During the year, in order to support and enable future growth, a fresh tier of management was introduced to the business.

“We now believe that this development was premature, materially increasing the cost base and diluting the influence of our founder [Nitin Passi].”

Missguided said its retail store business model, consisting of outlets in big shopping malls, had been “well received” by its customers.

However, the revenue they brought in was “insufficient to cover their operating costs, primarily due to the stores being significantly too large”.

The retailer said it had addressed the problem of its high cost base by spending £1.3m on reorganisation and redundancy costs. “After a positive first half year, we anticipate returning to historic levels of profitability in the current year,” it added.

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