Wesfarmers reported a loss for its new Bunnings UK & Ireland arm of the business in its latest financial statement.
Bunnings bought the Homebase business in February 2016 and began the process of importing its Bunnings store concept to the UK & Ireland by converting old Homebase stores in February 2017, starting with St Albans’ two stores. You can tour through one of the first pilot stores here.
In the full year period, Bunnings UK & Ireland revenue hit £1.2 billion, with a loss before interest and tax of £54 million.
The statement revealed that Wesfarmers plans to have between 15 to 20 Bunnings pilot stores in place by the end of the year, subject to approvals.
£19m was spent on transition and restructure costs during the period, including concession exits and pilot store programme.
4Q2017 sales decreased 6.8% in local currency.
Wesfarmers said that it had seen “Significant disruption impacting performance as the Homebase repositioning continues.” The company added that the first Bunnings Warehouse pilots had seen “strong supplier support”, “positive customer feedback” and “pleasing community engagement”.
Bunnings UK and Ireland appointed David Haydon as Trading and Commercial Manager for Homebase in June.