Thursday, July 3, 2014

News: Crawshaw to raise funds for new Rotherham facility and national expansion


Crawshaws, the Rotherham-based meat focused retailer, has announced details of the placing of new shares in a bid to raise nearly £9m to support the acceleration of its store opening programme.

The AIM-listed company has established its recovery in difficult High Street trading conditions and has recently signed a ten year lease on a new manufacturing and distribution facility at Hellaby.

Rothbiz reported in April that Crawshaw had submitted plans for alterations at Sandbeck Industrial Estate that would allow it to occupy a 12,000 sq ft unit for the manufacture and distribution of specialist foods utilising the existing facilities that were previously occupied by Buxton Foods.

The new factory and distribution centre in Rotherham will consolidate two existing sites in Grimsby and Rotherham into the new facility. 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. It will also include a factory shop.

In a statement to the stock exchange the company said: "The plan is to accelerate our store opening programme throughout 2015 and beyond with a view to having an estate of 200 shops within eight years. We are currently investing in a new processing and distribution centre in Rotherham to support the expansion. We expect the centre to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year and that it will have capacity to service 60 locations.

"We have been opening varying sized stores in different locations over the last five years. We have learned a number of lessons and believe our new store model, with fit out costs below £250k, is the basis of a profitable roll out plan.

"We intend to begin by recruiting a Chief Executive Officer with relevant experience to lead this exciting phase of our growth and to support Kevin Boyd who will remain our Managing Director.

"We also believe that further investment will be required in a robust HR resource and to set up a in-house training and development centre to ensure that staff in each new store have the skills required to maintain the service and quality our customers expect.

"The gross proceeds from the fundraising are to be used essentially to support the new store fit out, the further development of IT and logistics infrastructure and for working capital."

The plan, announced today, will see the issue of 20,999,994 new ordinary shares of 5p each at a price of 42p per share in a bid to raise gross proceeds of approximately £8.82m.

Established in 1954, the Templeborough firm has been trading on the stock market since 2004. It was acquired by Felix Group plc in 2008 and has 21 retail outlets throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Humberside.

With total sales for the year ending January 31 2014 of £21m, Crawshaw reported at its AGM in June that trade continues to be very strong, with year to date like for like sales up 13.4%.

Crawshaw website

Images: Crawshaw


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