Wilko has published its latest accounts, covering the year ended 1st February 2020, advising of a challenging UK retail environment with weakening demand and rising costs,
The company has reported annual sales of £1,468.3m, down £88m on the 2019 figure of £1,556.4m. Like-for-like sales reduced by 6.1% and profit before tax dropped to £11.4m compared with £32.6m in 2019.
EBITDA increased by 7.5% to £48.5m.
During the year, five stores closed and five were opened, leaving a store network of 416.
Wilko said it “has made significant progress on continuing to strengthen commercial and financial controls with a focus on core categories, strategic cost control and continued cash disciplines. The Group has delivered further profits before tax and generated positive free cash flow during the financial year as a result.”
The retailer advised it “has strong plans in place to further improve the customer proposition, operational delivery and effectively manage cash in 2020 and beyond to build towards the company’s 2030 vision.”
During the year, Jerome Saint-Marc was appointed as CEO with effect from 27th January 2020 while Andrew Moore, Chief Commercial Officer, resigned on 7th February. Non-executive director John Jackson resigned in September 2019 and Chris Martin was appointed as a non-executive director in November 2019.
The retailer has remained open during the coronavirus crisis and said its focus was on assessing the impact on the business and to protect team members, customers and other stakeholders.
Wilko stated that it has assessed the impact on the availability of products, sourced directly and indirectly from South East Asia, and this will be mitigated as far as possible. Where supply chain issues have been identified, the retailer said that “feasible alternate sourcing arrangements are being made to ensure a range of our products are available for our customers to buy.”
Jerome Saint-Marc, CEO, said: “There’s no denying it has been an incredibly difficult year for retail, but our continued focus on product development, controlling our margins, cash and costs and driving further operational efficiencies means we are making the right decisions to offset the challenges of the current retail market and realise our long-term vision.”
Source : Insight DIY Team