Friday, September 16, 2016

News: Crawshaw confident of restoring momentum after dip in sales

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Having delivered record sales growth in the last financial year, Rotherham-based fresh meat and food to go retailer, Crawshaw Group PLC has reported a further reduction in like for like sales since then.

The AIM-listed Hellaby firm is undergoing growth plans that will see it invest £200m, opening 200 stores and creating 2,500 jobs.

At the firm's AGM on in June it was announced that the Group had, during the prior couple of weeks, experienced some suppressed footfall patterns caused by a combination of the international football, adverse weather and Brexit. In a trading update, the group said that these factors persisted through to the end of the half year period, resulting in a further reduction in like for like sales for the half year, although this was partly mitigated again by a further strengthening of gross margin.

Crawshaws described the year ending January 31 2016 as a "transformative year" with a new management team and the appropriate infrastructure in place to deliver the rapid growth plan.

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Reporting its full year results, Crawshaws saw turnover increase by 51% to £37.1m compared to the £24.6m in the previous year.

Conditions have remained difficult in the weeks since the period end and supermarkets have very recently launched some aggressive meat promotions.

Crawshaw's share price dropped by almost a half on the news and the company said that it was reacting to ensure it maintains the value-led approach that has proved successful in the past. This includes introducing more local choice and lower price point packs. The retailer has been reducing the number of price-led promotions and drive higher margin lines.

With the success of its out of town factory store at Hellaby, the group said it was reviewing its store roll out strategy with a view to adding more of these types of openings.

The trading update concluded: "We are confident our actions can restore sales momentum, and we will be prepared to invest in margin to drive sales and sharpen our value proposition. We are disappointed with current trading and clearly the outlook for the full year will depend upon the result of our actions, upon trading during the important peak winter and festive season, and upon the timing of our store openings."

Crawshaw website

Images: Crawshaw


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