Strategic review & Wyevale acquisitions puts Dobbies on path to growth

Dobbies Wyevale

Dobbies has said it was en route to strong recovery this year thanks to a strategic review and acquiring a batch of Wyevale stores, after reporting a slump in profits and sales the year prior.

For the financial year ending February 25, the garden centre retailer said pre-tax profit dropped 35 per cent year-on-year to £5.1 million, which it attributed to one-off items.

Sales also came in at £148.3 million, down from £150.5 million the year before.

Dobbies added that footfall for the financial year was down 3.6 per cent, although the average transaction value was up 2.6 per cent.

“Range changes implemented during the second half of the year led to lower footfall and conversion, particularly during the Christmas trading period, while profit was lower “principally due to one-off items in the prior year,” Dobbies said.

However, for the current fiscal year, the retailer said it has benefited from a new leadership team in January, which was announced as part of a new strategic review.

Additionally, Dobbies bought six new garden centres from Wyevale in October, which it said were “trading in line with expectations”.

As a result of the changes and expansion, Dobbies it has enjoyed six consecutive months of year-on-year sales growth of over 11 per cent.

“Dobbies has delivered a strong trading performance so far this year,” said Graeme Jenkins, who took over from Nicholas Marshall as Dobbies chief executive in January.

“This gives us a solid foundation for growing the business, organically and through further acquisitions.

“Our trading performance is a credit to the team who have focused on understanding what Dobbies customers want and in turn re-establishing our range authority.

“We have also started to invest across the estate to expand our offer and improve our customers’ shopping experience at Dobbies.”

Dobbies is run by private equity firms Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, which bought it off Tesco in 2016 in a £217 million deal.

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