Wilko hit by £65m loss but are “excited for new opportunities”

High street retailer Wilko has announced a loss of £65 million after “exceptional items and movements of derivative financial instruments”, the company has reported. However

the business

has seen sales rise 7.1% as the online offer expands and own label products grow in popularity, with the website also posting significant uplift in both visits and conversions. and like- for-like sales rose for a third consecutive year, up by 3.7%.

Wilko reported accelerating

store openings with 20 new outlets being added to the estate during the year, taking the total estate to 416 stores. Operating profit was down by £5 million to £13 million, reflecting continued investment in stores.

Chief operating Wilkinson Hardware

officer of Stores

Limited, Sean Toal said: “Despite the tough trading environment, we have grown the business and won more customers as

they are attracted to the quality and value of our offer. Our online business is growing rapidly and the popularity of our own brand products is rising and surpassed £1 billion of sales [VAT incl] in the year.” “Our

significant investment

in IT infrastructure is beginning to bear fruit and we are transforming the business as our customers demand more both in terms of quality and value. We are excited about the future and look forward to taking

the business to its next stage of growth,” said Mr Toal. During the past year, Wilko has invested in excess of £60 million in the business to capitalise on future growth. It forged strategic partnerships with new suppliers including Hybris who have redesigned the company’s website and Wincanton, who have

been hired to

improved delivery performance and better value for money. A further exceptional charge of £39.9 million was also incurred


due to a notional loss on some foreign exchange derivatives relating to dollar purchasing. “While we have taken some exceptionals during the year, the business is now set up to be in good shape as we undertake our new strategy for growth. We are excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead of us and look forward to bringing better value.”

Akzo Nobel finalises sale of specialty chemicals business for €10.1billion

announced the completion of the sale of its specialty chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC. The firm was given the

green light to separate out the specialty


Following the announcement its

decorative paints

business had completed the acquisition of Fabryo earlier today, Akzo Nobel has just


from its paints and coatings business in December last year

after a wrangle

shareholders when the board rebuffed a proposed takeover

Buildbase launches Plumbingbase

Buildbase commercial director Lyndon Johnson said the Plumbingbase launch will complete the company’s ‘one- stop shop’ philosophy. Builders’ merchant, Buildbase has launched a dedicated plumbing and heating business within 44 branches to help create a one-stop shop for tradesmen. Plumbingbase will be clearly alongside


Electricbase and, Kitchen and Bathroom Showrooms

Hirebase, in the

Buildbase branches, with a view to providing a complete and comprehensive offering of “everything a tradesperson needs under one roof”.

The new format is in addition to the standalone Plumbase branches that are also part of Grafton Group. Aimed at builders, plasterers, housing developers, and plumbing and heating contractors, Plumbingbase will carry a core range of plumbing and heating products, from boilers


by PPG. As agreed at the Extraordinary General Meeting of November 30, 2017, Akzo Nobel will return the vast majority of net proceeds from the sale of specialty chemicals to its shareholders. In a statement earlier today, Akzo Nobel said it expected to complete the sale by the end of 2018.

Akzo Nobel CEO Thierry

to waste pipes. A wider breadth of products will be available at larger sites.

The company has recruited plumbing and heating specialists to provide knowledgeable advice and support across all branches. The Buildbase estate comprises more than 170 branches throughout the UK and the firm has revealed plans to roll the new Plumbingbase format out at further locations in 2019. Buildbase commercial director

Lyndon Johnson said: “We understand that time is money for our customers. Plumbingbase will complete our ‘one-stop shop’ philosophy, reducing the need for customers to go to several merchants for one project.”

Aldi UK plans to open 130 new stores

Aldi, has announced record results for its last financial year, with sales continuing to increase in 2018 as growing numbers of British shoppers switch from the “Big Four” - Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons.

Sales in the UK and Ireland

rose by 16.4% to £10.2billion in the year to December 31, 2017 (2016: £8.8bn) – a higher growth rate than seen in the previous year (13.5%). The supermarket – now

Britain’s 5th biggest with over 775 stores – gained more market share than any other last year, attracting a further

1.1million shoppers. Chief executive officer of Aldi UK and Ireland, Giles Hurley said: “The revolution in British grocery shows no sign of slowing. Savvy customers know they can swap and save with Aldi, thanks to great quality products at lower prices. This is happening on a massive scale, with more than 1.1m new customers shopping with us throughout 2017.

Villaggio Verge joins BHETA

Another housewares company has joined the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) it has been announced, Villaggio Verde. Villaggio Verde is an RHS gold medal winning grower of olive trees with 20 years’ experience supplying trees to consumers and the trade and hiring out specimens to the commercial market. With its own olive tree nursery in the UK as well as farmland on the Mediterranean coast, Villaggio has launched into the housewares market with a range of high quality handcrafted olive wood household items including bowls, tableware and salad servers. “This is great news,” said Will Jones home enhancement director at “The variety of knowledge, experience and contacts within

BHETA. BHETA broadens all the time.” 12 OCTOBER 2018 DIY WEEK 5

Vanlancker commented: “Today is a key milestone in the history of Akzo Nobel, creating a focused paints and coatings company, with market leading positions, strong global brands, and a clear strategy to create value for all our stakeholders. “This is also an important step for the specialty chemicals business and I would like to take this opportunity to say

thank you to our colleagues and wish them a successful future with Carlyle and GIC.” CEO

of the speciality

chemicals division, Charles Shaver said: “I am delighted to assume my new role at Specialty Chemicals and look forward to working with the management team, Carlyle and GIC to deliver long term success.

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