Department store operator Beales has today reported a loss before tax of £1.2 million for the 26 weeks ending April 30th 2011, but the figure includes the £1.3 million of exceptional costs incurred by major acquisition made during the period.
Earlier this year Beales purchased 19 Anglia Regional Co-operative Society (ARCS) stores in a deal worth £7.5 million, and the group is confident that these acquisitions have put the business in a strong position to grow in the future.
Gross sales, inclusive of concession sales and VAT, increased by 3.3 per cent over the period and revenues grew four per cent to £27.3 million. Both figures include trading at its Hexham and Rochdale stores, acquired in the second half of last year.
Mike Killingley, Chairman of Beale, commented: “Your board regards the acquisition of the 19 ARCS stores as essential to the group’s strategy to achieve greater critical mass, to enable Beales to prosper in the modern retail environment and accelerate the restoration of profitability.”
Trading floor space has increased from about 550,000 sq ft to one million sq ft as the number of stores increased from 13 to 32.
Today’s statement added: “There is considerable scope to improve the performance of the new stores to the levels currently achieved by Beales.
“We shall also be able to improve purchasing arrangements, and achieve economies of scale.”
Beales bought ARCS stores in Abingdon, Beccles, Bishop Auckland, Chipping Norton, Cinderford, Diss, Harrogate, Keighley, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Mansfield, Peterborough, Redcar, Saffron Waldren, Skegness, Skipton, Spalding, St Neots and Wisbech.