Wilko profits drop 65% in “incredibly difficult year for retail”

Wilko trading update Jerome Saint-Marc
Like-for-like sales declined by 6.1% during the period
// Wilko full-year pre-tax profits and sales decline in “challenging” year
// Pre-tax profits dropped by 65% while sales declined 5.6%

Wilko has seen its full-year pre-tax profits and sales drop thanks to the “challenging” UK retail environment.

In the year to February 1, the retailer’s pre-tax profits dropped by 65 per cent, exacerbated by a 5.6 per cent decline in sales to £1.5 billion.

Like-for-like sales declined by 6.1 per cent during the period, while sales of own-brand lines grew during the year and represented 55 per cent of overall sales.


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Meanwhile, Wilko’s EBITDA rose 7.5 per cent to £48.5 million during the year.

“There’s no denying it has been an incredibly difficult year for retail, but our continued focus on product development, controlling our margins, cash and costs and driving further operational efficiencies means we are making the right decisions to offset the challenges of the current retail market and realise our long-term vision,” Wilko chief executive Jerome Saint-Marc said.

The retailer did not draw on any banking facilities during the year and ended the financial period with net cash in the bank of £94.1 million.

“We quickly invested in safety and protection measures, we’re providing full pay for all our team members without seeking government assistance to do so, we’re working hard to protect as many jobs as we can and we’ve met all rent and supplier obligations in full to date.

“It’s reassuring to see the Wilko way of pulling together in action despite the many challenges our team members face at work and at home.

“We have experienced a mixed and dynamic trading performance during the pandemic but are confident that our robust planning means that we’re prepared for the future, whatever it may bring”.

Earlier this week, Wilko was accused of failing to keep staff and shoppers safe during the coronavirus crisis but has since hit back at union bosses to defend its position.

The GMB alleged that staff were “terrified” to work at the Wilko branch in Leek, North Staffordshire.

The trade union expressed concerns around the availability of hand sanitiser, issues over the use of card-only tills, and the management of queues at the Brook Street store.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I have been in my local wilko just recently. The shelves are quite bare considering they have weekly deliveries.
    So please dont just blame it on the situation we are in atm.

  2. Shame this company misleads. The retail staff may be on site, but the h/o functions are being furloughed. Any profit declared is due to low to zero investment in store maintenance to the point of unsafe workplaces in some cases. Wage budget cuts with new policies to reduce customer service to practically zero. Company has become a insurance companies nightmare.

  3. It’s not got a pleasant shopping experience. Poor layouts and bland decor. It’s a poor alternative to Woolworths.

  4. Let me assure you the way in which WILKO treat there staff is disgusting.
    My local store here in Bradford i was in last week staff have been asking for masks & were not given them simply told do your job. What? This is Disgusting i had to vent my sheets anger at the buffoons who claim to be managers i did let fly this surely falls under health & safety surely i will never set foot in that place again makes me sick.
    There profit fall comes as no surprise to me.

  5. Went into a store last week.. horrible beige environment and empty shelves everywhere.. will not Go back, depressing

  6. Wilko does it again!! If it hasn’t been stressful enough having to work throughout this pandemic Wilko start the new year by informing their staff that there will be redundancies!
    Not for the staff who work longer hours and are on grade 3 wages and above but for those of us on minimum wage grabbing any overtime when possible just to make ends meet.
    Those on 20hrs will have to either lose hours or take redundancy and all grade 1 staff have basically got to reapply for a job and if there isn’t enough to go round then it comes down to a point system, so if you’ve had more time off sick than the next person you’re out.
    The ironic thing is that they paid a stupid amount of money to a “consultant” to be told to do this
    Happy new year Wilko one day you might actually learn how to run a successful business but until then you will inevitably keep cocking it up and ruin lives at the same time!!

  7. Yep wilko are making poor store staff redundant or asking them to take unrealistic working hours. Stop all sick pay. YET grade 4 and upwards keep full company sick back max 26 weeks and receive a bonus whilst the people on minimum wage are struggling and doing the work of 5 WELL DONE WILKO

  8. My local Wilco’s shelves are always very empty I even asked if they were closing down it’s so bad. They must have a rubbish ordering system because no other shops are like this now . I’ve stopped going in as they never have what I’m wanting.

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