Wednesday, February 25, 2015

News: Profitable Crawshaw looks ahead

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Crawshaws, the meat focused retailer is excited for its future plans under its new CEO and from its new Rotherham HQ.

The AIM-listed firm currently has 21 retail outlets throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Humberside and recently moved onto Sandbeck Industrial Estate at Hellaby, occupying a 12,000 sq ft unit for the manufacture and distribution of specialist foods.

Crawshaw believe that the space at the new site will give it additional capacity and is better located, leading to a more productive and efficient operation. The new site will provide Crawshaw with capacity to cater for 60 retail locations and also includes a factory shop.

Following a Christmas trading period that was in line with management expectations, Crawshaws gave an update to the stock exchange this week. It said that like for like sales for the financial year ending January 2015 were up 5%, building further on the increase of 11% in the previous year.

As gross margin for the nine weeks to December 28 showed a further improvement of 1% over the prior year, the company's cash margin is increasing year on year. Crawshaw now expects the out turn for the full year to end January 2015 to be materially higher than the current market forecast. This comes despite making some investment in the growth plan and opening new stores, and now means that investment in its growth plan will accelerate further in the year to January 2016 as planned.

Richard Rose, chairman of Crawshaw, said: "Our average spend continues to increase reflecting the excellent quality and value we offer. All our stores are profitable and we are excited about the planned shop openings in the near future plus the arrival of our new CEO in the next week."

The new appointment is Noel Collett, formerly Lidl's chief operating officer for the UK business, as the chief executive officer as Crawshaws heads towards its ambitious target of 200 shops within eight years. Last year it announced details of the placing of new shares in a bid to raise nearly £9m to support the acceleration of its store opening programme.

Established in 1954, the firm has been trading on the stock market since 2004. It was acquired by Felix Group plc in 2008. Peel Hunt LLP were recently appointed as corporate finance advisers.

Crawshaw website

Images: Crawshaws

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