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29 SEPTEMBER 2017 A 10-page sector special from p12


GLOBAL DIY SUMMIT The final instalment of our report from the international event p10

MARKET REPORT What’s driving growth in the health & safety market


A closer look at opportunities in smart home products


Wyevale announces new strategy, as it reports huge loss in earnings

Wyevale Garden Centres has released a new strategy after securing new funding in a refinancing deal. A group of lenders including Hayfin, Barclays and Lloyds has provided a £141.5million debt package to refinance the existing facilities of Terra Firma-backed Wyevale Garden Centres. It is hoped this will stabilise the capital structure, enabling the leadership team to focus on delivering the new strategy. The news comes as Terra Firma posts its annual accounts for 2016 – which were delayed until the refinancing deal was in place – and which recorded a £122 million loss at Wyevale. While revenue was up from £311million to £325million,

the UK’s largest garden centre operator posted an EBITDA figure of £29million; a huge decline on the £42million recorded in 2015.

Losses at the 151-strong chain have been attributed to an overhaul of Wyevale’s supply chain and introduction of new stock procurement method. The company explained that “the extent of this change proved to be too much for the business’s underlying systems and supply chain”, adding that “poor implementation of this strategy combined with particularly challenging weather conditions in 2015 led to sales and profit declines.”

In 2016 WGC implemented a new business plan to fix core

systems, processes and supply chain assets and is now focused on re-establishing underlying sales and growing profitability. So far in 2017, Wyevale said it has seen early signs of progress following the implementation of the first phase of its new strategy, as the business has returned to like-for-like growth. Terra Firma confirmed that Wyevale was holding fire on any new acquisitions until 2018. The group has also realised the capital value of its freehold estate, completing a sale and leaseback of five of its garden centres. The proceeds of these and eight others in the previous year were used to pay debt and fund acquisitions.

In 2016 Wyevale completed

the purchase of Woodcote Garden Centre and Wolds View Garden Centre.

Wyevale CEO Roger Mclaughlan said: “There’s been a significant shift in our financial priorities away from acquisitions

Entry is open to the DIY Week Awards

Entry into the retailer and supplier categories of the 2018 DIY Week Awards is now open. With a host of all-new categories recognising excellence and innovation, the awards could be the perfect time for your company or product to shine. This year we have expanded and refreshed the categories to

keep pace with the changing home improvement and garden retail industry. New awards for 2018 include Team of the Year, Website or Digital Initiative of the Year, Garden Leisure Product of the Year and Digital Investment. All entries will be accepted online via the all-new awards site,

where full information about each category and the event itself can be found.

The DIY Week Awards celebrates the very best our vibrant industry has to offer. Being considered for an award is the perfect chance to have your hard work rewarded and provides the opportunity to get your product

in front of a host of influential peers including our independent judging panels. The deadline for entries is Friday, December 15. Judging days will be held during February, when two dedicated retailer and product panels will review the entries and settle on a shortlist.

The overall winners in each category will be announced at the DIY Week Awards luncheon, which will take place on Friday, May 11 at the Park Plaza in London Victoria.

and other capital intensive growth initiatives to investment in the core infrastructure, systems and processes required to develop a scalable and sustainable platform to underpin the Group’s future growth plans.”

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