Big losses at Focus DIY but foundations in place for brighter future
Evidence of the difficulties at home improvement retailer Focus DIY came this week with the company reporting a pre-tax loss of £95.3 million on sales of £501.9m for the year to February 22.
The company came close to administration and was only saved after its landlords agreed in August to it taking the controversial company voluntary agreement (CVA) route. This safeguarded 4,500 jobs at 180 stores and enabled Focus to remain a tenant of 38 non-trading stores, with the rent, service charges and insurance reverting to the landlords.
Bill Grimsey, chief executive of Focus DIY, says it has been an extremely difficult year and that the CVA has helped “transform the prospects of the group” that is now saving £8.5m per year. He also confirmed that the business had reached an agreement with its lenders over an extension to its £50m facilities to December 2011. This should provide sufficient working capital for the period.
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