High street
The UK high street has taken some large hits this year (Reuters)

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has tabled an expansion which will create more than 1,100 jobs.

The retailer, which has 65 mainstream high street stores throughout the UK, said it will generate 1,145 jobs over the next 18 months.

The employer plans to open 100 outlets, including new Peacock stores, as well as an expansion into Germany, Russia and the Middle East, according to the Daily Telegraph.

"UK retail remains a tough environment and we are focused on serving customers who are seeking value at a time of reduced discretionary spend but who will not compromise on quality," Steve Simpson, the group's commercial director, told the newspaper.

He added: "The group is free of debt so we can leverage a positive balance sheet and focus on a sensible-strategy which continues to deliver sustainable growth for the long term."

The company's operating profit has risen to £58.5m ($94.7m, 70m) compared with £20.6m the previous year.

The healthy result follows its acquisition of Peacocks in 2012 after the brand went into administration.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group said it had invested £80m in developing online sales, refitting key stores and enhancing its overseas presence since then.

The employer's fortunes provide stark contrast with some of the UK's high street giants such as Blockbuster and Barratts Shoes, who have both called in the administrators.