UK Politics

Mike Ashley’s Frasers plans more ‘digital elevation’ investment after profits hit by coronavirus lockdown


Frasers Group PLC (LON:FRAS) said it intends to invest at least £100mln in its digital elevation strategy after underlying profits rose in what boss Mike Ashley said was the most challenging year in its history.

The FTSE 250 sports retailer and House of Fraser owner will focus the new investment on its more upmarket Flannels chain and “an enhanced customer experience”, as well as supporting growth across its online channels.

Results for the 52-week period to April 26, 2020, which were delayed for the second year in a row, showed group revenue increased by 7% to just under £4bn.

On an organic basis, which excludes acquisitions and currency swings, sales were down 12.6%, with like-for-like sales in core UK sports retail falling 6.6%, mostly caused by shops being temporarily shuttered during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

The growth came mostly from the newer focus on premium lifestyle, which increased 34.9% as new Flannels stores opened and acquisitions were made of Jack Wills and, with a new 10% investment in Hugo Boss made post-period-end.

Frasers reported a 20% fall in profit before tax to £143.5mln, which under the new IFRS 16 accounting rules excluded a £84.9mln gain on the sale and leaseback of its infamous Shirebrook distribution cRead More – Source