Friday, January 8, 2016

News: Strong sales at Crawshaw

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Crawshaw Group PLC, the Rotherham-based fresh meat and food to go retailer, has reported strong sales for period up to Christmas.

Last year, the AIM-listed firm announced details of its growth plans that will see it invest £200m, opening 200 stores and creating 2,500 jobs. From its new base at at Hellaby it is closing in on 40 retail outlets, having acquired a number of other butchery businesses.

Expanding outside its traditional Yorkshire and Humberside base, the latest openings are in Bolton, Worksop, Bury, Loughborough and Birkenhead, with further stores planned for Birchwood, Blackburn, Warrington and Cannock.

Providing an update on trading for the 15 week period to January 3 2016, Crawshaw said that total group sales were up 64% on the same period in the previous year, and are up 52% year to date. Like-for-like sales for the same period were up 0.8% versus the previous year, and are up 1.7% year to date.

Margins have increased and the Board is anticipating that the full year results ended January 31 2016 will be in line with market expectations.

Specialising in larger value packs and multi buy offers, earlier expansion plans had to be scaled back following the economic downturn and the VAT changes on the hot cooked product offer. The new plans are being helped by the appointments of Noel Collett, formerly Lidl's chief operating officer for the UK business, and Alan Richardson, who joined from Morrisons Supermarkets Plc where he was a key member of the commercial team supporting the rapid expansion into the convenience store format.

Noel Collett, CEO at Crawshaw, said: "We are delighted to be able to report such strong sales performance as our growth strategy continues to rapidly enhance sales and profitability.

"Our growth plan is progressing very well and is on track with an increase of 17 stores for the current financial year taking our portfolio to 39 stores.

"We are also pleased with the positive like-for-like performance in our mature stores, particularly given the disruption and challenging high street footfall patterns caused by the prolonged adverse weather conditions in the North of England. Clearly our growth is very exciting for the business and we look to the next financial year with energy and confidence."

Crawshaw website

Images: Crawshaw / Twitter

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