Robert Dyas swings to loss amid online investment

// Robert Dyas reports like-for-like growth but stagnant overall turnover
// Over the 12 months it reported a £780,000 loss
// Investments in its online operations, automation and new head office were attributed to the loss

Robert Dyas has become the second member of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group to swing to a loss in 2018, amid significant investment in its online operations.

In the year to March 31 2018, the homeware and hardware retailer saw turnover remain largely flat, increasing just 0.4 per cent to £123.9 million, despite like-for-like sales rising 2.7 per cent.

This marginal increase failed to offset major investments made throughout the year, leading to an operating loss of £780,000, compared to a profit of £713,000 a year prior, while its EBITDA also fell from £2.4 million to £500,000 during the period.

It attributed the loss to investments its new “modern warehouse facility” in Hemel Hempstead, alongside investment in automation to drive acceleration in its online arm.

“Robert Dyas has spent on relocating its Head Office and automating operations at its warehouse at Hemel Hempstead,” GlobalData’s retail analyst Amy Higginbotham said.

“Though costly, these investments are paying off as the DIY and homewares retailer reported sales growth, with turnover increasing 0.4 per cent to £123.9 million, driven by online.

“Strong online growth can be attributed to Robert Dyas improving its delivery fulfilment options by allowing online shoppers to collect orders from Ryman stores.

“This allows Robert Dyas to reach customers nationwide, not just in the south of England, where all of its 95 stores are located.”

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