Bunnings has recorded a loss in its first full year in the UK, as it pushes ahead with its expanding its presence in the local home and DIY market.
The Australian retailer, whose parent company Wesfarmer acquired Homebase in February last year, posted losses before inflation and tax of £54 million in its fiscal year ending June 30.
The £19 million bill incurred from the initial stages of converting Homebase stores into the Bunnings Warehouse format was taken into account when recording the losses.
The chain – which has a cult following of sorts in Australia due to its on-premises “sausage sizzle” fundraising stalls every weekend – has so far opened four stores in the UK and plans open 15 to 20 in total by the end of the year, through a mix of Homebase conversions and newly-acquired properties.
It has also closed down concessions from Argos, Habitat and Laura Ashley at the remaining Homebase stores.
Bunnings also raked in sales of £1.2 billion in its maiden year, but in its fourth quarter the revenue dropped 6.8 per cent.
The retailer said the financial results were impacted by the “significant disruption” caused by the Homebase takeover and subsequent store conversions.
It said the disruption in sales and profits would continue as it was still in the “very early stages of formation”.
Bunnings also brought in its low price proposition used in Australia, and sold off old Homebase ranges and brought in new lines.