Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group backtracks on profit predictions

Frasers Group has said it can no longer commit to achieving 20 to 30 per cent profit improvement after a new lockdown for the south of England was announced at the weekend.

Earlier this month the group, which is owned by British billionaire Mike Ashley, said that with the successful reopening of its stores across England on 2 December 2020, combined with continuing strong online performance, it could “confidently raise the bottom end of its full year guidance for FY21 to a 20 per cent – 30 per cent improvement in underlying EBITDA.”

New Tier 4 Coronavirus restrictions were rolled out in London and the south of England on Sunday, leading to the closure of all non-essential retail stores in these areas.

Following the announcement of the new rules, Frasers Group said that nearly all of its stores in these locations are now closed.

In a statement, the group said: “Given this is a peak trading period, and combined with the high likelihood of further rolling lockdowns nationwide over the following months at least, such is the uncertainty of when stores can and cannot open that the Board of Frasers Group plc can no longer commit to Frasers Group achieving its publicised guidance of a 20% to 30% improvement in Underlying EBITDA during FY21 and, accordingly, is withdrawing its guidance.”
The new Tier 4 regulations will be reviewed again on 30 December.

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