Frasers Group pulls guidance as new lockdowns hit retail hard
Frasers Group has become the first major retail name to withdraw its earnings guidance following the introduction of stricter Covid controls in the UK.
The retail giant that owns Sports Direct, House of Frasers and Flannels, among other chains, said that the closure of non-essential retail in London, The South East, and East of England “with no warning has led to virtually all of our stores closing in these areas".
It added: "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 can no longer commit to Frasers Group achieving its publicised guidance”.
The published guidance had assumed a 20% to 30% improvement in Underlying EBITDA during FY21.
Retailers have been thrown off balance in the past few days with the UK government imposing a lockdown on parts of England where the virus is spreading fastest, and joining Wales in telling non-essential stores to close. Northern Ireland will also start a lockdown as of December 26 and there are fears that restrictions could be in place until Easter, by which time many millions of Britons should have been vaccinated.
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