Homebase turnaround bears fruit as it returns to profit

DIY retailer Homebase said it has “returned to profit ahead of plan” in its latest trading update, recording profits of £3.2m in 2019, compared with a loss of £114.5m in 2018.

As a result, Homebase said the proposed completion of its CVA is likely to conclude 18-months ahead of schedule, due to the strong financial performance.

For the year ended 29 December 2019, Homebase reported a 2.6% increase in like-for-like sales, alongside a 2.8% increase in its gross profit rate, amid new ranges and “improvements” to its in-store and online shopping experience.

The retailer said “nearly all 164 stores are now profitable”, and added that “effective cost management” across all areas has seen Homebase reduce its cost base by over £180m.

Homebase attributed the success to a £10m investment to its stores across the UK and Ireland, which included 51 refurbishments in December 2019 to create brand new “inspirational” kitchen showrooms, Bathstore concessions and home furnishing departments.

Last year, Homebase acquired The Bathstore, which now has 49 concessions in Homebase stores.

Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, said: “18 months into our turnaround, we’re extremely proud of what our team has achieved, working hard with our partners to return to profit and lay solid foundations for growth.

“We have a very clear vision for Homebase, and we’re excited about the plans we have for the future. We will continue to invest in our ranges, services, and team members as we make Homebase the go-to place for the inspiration, expertise and products customers need to take their ideas and create homes they love.”

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