Wilko posts £65m loss

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Value home and lifestyle brand Wilko posted a pre-tax operating loss of £65 million in the 12 months to February 3, according to a report by Retail Week.

The cut-price retailer said exceptional costs relating to a £40 million hit on currency forward contracts and £36.5 million worth of costs incurred by a store management restructure were the major reasons behind the loss.

Wilko also noted property costs and an early exit of its distribution contract as factors contributing to the loss.

Operating profit fell £13 million due to investment in stores and its IT infrastructure, including redesigning the retailer’s website.

There were encouraging signs elsewhere, with the company’s EBITDA up 2.7 per cent to £50.2 million, thanks to a 7.1 per cent increase in turnover to £1.6 billion.

Like-for-like sales were also a positive note for Wilko, rising 3.7 per cent for the year.

“Despite the tough trading environment, we have grown the business and won more customers as they are attracted to the quality and value of our offer,” said Wilko chief operating officer Sean Toal.

Across the financial year, Wilko opened 16 new stores, with a further seven store openings and two relocations due for its current financial year.

The business is now focused on its ‘Shape Our Future 2030’ strategy, streamlining underperforming stores and working on a “more simplistic” leadership structure.

“While we have taken some exceptionals during the year, the business is now set up to be in good shape as we undertake our new strategy for growth,” Toal added.

“We are excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead of us and look forward to bringing better value and better quality designed products to our customers.”

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