Clarks revenues drop following Covid-19 lockdowns

At the end of 2020, Clarks secured a new private equity owner

Clarks has reported a drop in revenues after the first UK lockdown coincided with the launch of its new season of stock.

For the financial year ending January 30, turnover fell by over £600 million from £1.37 billion in 2019/20 to £755 million in 2020/21.

The footwear retailer made a profit of £17.2 million after tax in the previous year.

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Underlying operating loss for the 52 weeks to January 30 was £70.9 million, compared with a profit of £46.2 million in the previous year.

At the end of 2020, Clarks secured a new private equity owner.

The £100 million investment from LionRock Capital came as part of a refinancing package, which cost the company Clarks £29.1 million in fees to secure new equity and new banking facilities, and oversee a CVA.

LionRock has a 51 per cent controlling stake in Clarks following the completion of the refinancing in February this year.

On top of the £29.1 million refinancing costs, a further £32.5 million in reorganisation costs were accrued during the year, as well as £18.5 million in onerous lease and store asset impairments.

“Being a global footwear retailer with a seasonally driven business model, the impact of Covid-19 in the year was immediate given that reduced demand coincided with the commencement of our spring/summer season and new inventory resulted in a significant working capital impact which continues into 2021,” Clarks said.

“In addition, many of our wholesale partners imposed extended payment terms, which has delayed the receipt of cashflow.”

During the pandemic, Clarks stopped all discretionary spending, extended payment terms with suppliers, stopped 70 per cent of all capital expenditure and focused on critical business spend and stopped the company dividend.

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