Jigsaw, high street chain favoured by Kate Middleton, is back in black

Kate’s style favourite is back in the black: Jigsaw returns to profit as it starts to sell through Next and M&S

Fashion conscious: Kate Middleton

Jigsaw, the high street fashion store favoured by Kate Middleton, is back in the black. 

The chain, whose garments have been a staple for middle-class British women for more than 50 years, is ultimately owned by an investment vehicle controlled by tycoon David Ross. 

The firm was rocked by an exodus of directors just before the pandemic. But the latest accounts for the trading company that operates the brand paint an improving picture. 

They show that Robinson Webster (Holdings) made an operating profit of £1.2million in the year to January 29, versus a loss of £21million the previous year. 

Sales jumped from £38.7million to £47.7million, while pre-tax losses narrowed from £8.7million to £1.3million. 

Director Steve Thew said he was ‘pleased’ with the results, which followed the completion of a restructuring that cut the number of stores from 56 to 43. 

The remaining outlets also performed better than expected. Jigsaw began selling via Next and Marks & Spencer online. 

The results are a far cry from the turmoil that threatened to engulf the company a few years ago. 

Then, its auditors took the unusual step of qualifying accounts covering August to December of 2018 for its ultimate owner, Mountain Berg Holdings, amid concerns about stock that it claimed was worth £4.5million. 

Mountain Berg is an investment vehicle controlled by Ross, the Carphone Warehouse co-founder and prominent Conservative Party donor, who took over Jigsaw in 2018.