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Homebase owner reports first half loss in UK

Wesfarmers, the group which bought the Homebase chain last year and is rebranding the stores to Bunnings, has reported a loss before interest and tax of £28 million in the six months to 31 December.

HOME & DIY

Homebase owner reports first half loss in UK

In a statement, the company said Bunnings “moved at pace” in the UK and Ireland as it implemented phase one of its transformation plan. Profit was impacted by restructuring, including clearance of deleted lines, and the retailer’s move to offering ‘Always Low Prices’.

Richard Goyder, Wesfarmers managing director, said: “BUKI has made very good progress to separate Homebase from its former owner and begin repositioning the business. Pleasingly, the first Bunnings pilot store was successfully opened on 2 February 2017, with additional pilot stores currently under development.”

Across the wider Wesfarmers group, profits rose by 13.2% to A$1.57 billion.

The news comes as Wesfarmers announced that Rob Scott will be the next Wesfarmers managing director, succeeding Goyder who will retire towards the end of 2017. Scott will remain in his current role as head of Wesfarmers’ industrials division until 1 July 2017.

Having initially commenced his career with Wesfarmers in 1993, Scott then worked with EY and Deutsche Bank before rejoining Wesfarmers in 2004.

Wesfarmers chairman Michael Chaney said Scott’s appointment continues the group’s unbroken tradition of appointing its chief executives from within.

He added: “Rob has a proven capability to deliver improved business performance and to lead change through building great teams around him. Importantly, he is deeply grounded in Wesfarmers’ culture and disciplined focus on sustainable shareholder returns.”

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