// Frasers Group warns it could take a hit in excess of £200m due to the Covid-19 restrictions
// This is double the estimate it provided in February
// It believes a writedown against freehold values and other non-cash impairments will be required
Sports Direct parent company Frasers Group has warned it could take a hit in excess of £200 million due to the Covid-19 restrictions – double its previous estimate in February.
The Mike Ashley-owned firm said it believes further restrictions are “almost certain”, and that a writedown against freehold values and other non-cash impairments will be required.
“Frasers Group is continuing to assess the Covid-19 potential impact on asset values,” it said in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange.
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“In our ongoing assessment we note the continuing government and government adviser pronouncements regarding ‘third waves’ and normality being ‘some way off’, meaning further restrictions are in our view almost certain.
“We also note the Covid-19-affected experiences, estimates and judgments from other leading retailers.”
Frasers Group is planning to reopen vast swathes of its estate from Monday, as non-essential retailers are allowed to welcome back customers in England and Wales.
The firm owns House of Fraser, Game, Jack Wills, Flannels, Evans Cycles (which remained open as an essential retailer) and Sports Direct.
Bosses have been critical of the extension by the Chancellor to the business rates holiday and the restrictions it places on how much can be saved for big chains like Frasers Groups.
Ashley’s firm has also been eyeing up potential takeover opportunities throughout the Covid-19 crisis, showing interest in the collapsed Debenhams and Peacocks brands, although administrators have reportedly found that Frasers Groups’ offers have tended to be far too low to accept.