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Wesfarmers could close up to 40 Homebase stores in the UK

Wesfarmers, the Australian owner of the Homebase DIY chain, is looking at closing up to 40 Homebase stores in the UK.

HOME & DIY

Wesfarmers could close up to 40 Homebase stores in the UK

Such a move could put up to 2,000 jobs at risk.

In a statement, the company said Bunnings UK is expected to report a first half underlying loss before interest and tax of £97 million following a poor trading performance by Homebase.

Wesfarmers acquired Homebase in 2016 and is currently rebranding Homebase stores as Bunnings. Homebase has 250 stores in the UK and employs 12,000 people.

Rob Scott, Wesfarmers managing director, said: “We need to address underperformance in our portfolio that is detracting from positive performance in other areas, and the announcement today sets out decisive actions to achieve this.

“The Homebase acquisition has been below our expectations which is obviously disappointing. In light of this, a review of BUKI has commenced to identify the actions required to improve shareholder returns.”

Wesfarmers has also announced that Peter Davis, managing director of Bunnings UK, is to retire after 25 years with Bunnings. He will be succeeded by Damian McGloughlin who has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK home improvement and DIY market including various positions at B&Q.

The company has also made a number of other senior leadership appointments, including David Haydon as chief operating officer, as it looks to strengthen the Bunnings UK team.

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