Mountain Warehouse is continuing to increase the number of its shops. Photo: Editor5807 CC-BY-SA-3.0

Mountain Warehouse is continuing to increase the number of its shops. Photo: Editor5807 CC-BY-SA-3.0

A High Street outdoor retailer has warned prices will have to rise following the slump in the value of the pound after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Mountain Warehouse also said it had shelved plans for a stock market flotation in the light of the referendum result.

The retailer’s founder and chief executive Mark Neale said the company had hedged against currency fluctuations up to 2017 but shoppers would face higher prices after that. He said Mountain Warehouse could absorb some of the increased costs and would also push for better prices at its factories, but outdoor enthusiasts would have to pay more.

The company, which has more than 200 shops selling mainly own-brand clothing and equipment, saw sales grow almost 30 per cent during the six months to August, but profits dropped £300,000 to £4m as it continued its store expansion, with 24 new sites opening in the first half of 2016.

Mr Neale said the referendum result would have made a stock market float ‘quite tricky’ and it was not necessary because Mountain Warehouse did not have a private equity investor pressing for a return on its cash.

He said its retail price rises would be the first for five years.

Mountain Warehouse was founded in 1997 with a single shop and now has about 250 stores in the UK and 50 overseas stores in Ireland, Germany, Poland and North America. It has created 250 new jobs this year.

Mr Neale told the Press Association: “Ultimately, I think Brexit will be fine. During the last recession we grew the business, so we’ve seen it all before and we actually benefited from people searching for better value.”

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