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Frasers Group reports drop in full-year revenue, profit as lockdowns bite

By Huw Hughes

Aug. 5, 2021

Business

Image: Frasers Group

Frasers Group has reported a drop in full-year revenue and pre-tax profit as store closures during the pandemic took their toll on the business.

The group, which owns brands Sports Direct, Flannels, House of Fraser, and Jack Wills, reported Thursday an 8.4 percent drop in revenue to 3.63 billion pounds in the year to April 25.

UK Sports Retail revenue fell by 10.7 percent, largely due to the temporary store closures, but partially offset by growth in its online business and pent up demand on reopening stores. European Retail revenue decreased by 11.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Premium Lifestyle revenue increased by 1.9 percent, largely due to growth in its online business and new store openings.

Pre-tax profit falls at Frasers Group

Profit before tax fell to 8.5 million pounds from 143.5 million pounds a year earlier, while underlying EBITDA increased to 390.8 million pounds from 302.1 million pounds.

The group said stores in the UK have reopened “above expectations” and its online channel continues to “significantly outperform” pre-Covid-19 periods. However, it said it still sees “a high risk of future Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, likely to be over this winter and maybe beyond”.

Due to ongoing Covid concerns, specifically related to the Delta variant, Frasers said it “cannot currently confirm with enough material accuracy what the outcome for FY22 will look like”.

In a separate announcement on Thursday, Frasers Group confirmed that Mike Ashley is stepping down from the role of CEO. He will be succeeded by Michael Murray, Frasers Group’s head of elevation and the fiance of Ashley’s daughter Anna.

Murray is expected to take on the new position on May 1 2022. Ashley will remain on the board as an executive director.