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McColl's dragged to a loss following 'unseasonable weather'

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 26 Feb 2020

McColl's dragged to a loss following 'unseasonable weather'

(Sharecast News) - Convenience store group McColl's cancelled its dividend on Wednesday after announcing it had swung to a loss of almost ?100m in 2019.
McColl's said it had swung from a profit of ?7.9m in 2018 to a loss of ?98.6m in its recently wrapped up trading year as "unseasonable weather" throughout December and weakened consumer confidence weighed on its results.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came in at ?32.1m - in line with the group's warnings back in December.

McColl's cited "softer market conditions" during the tail end of the year for the poor showing, which will see investors book a basic loss per share of 83.3p - a marked difference when compared to 2018's earnings of 5.95p per share.

The London-listed firm also cautioned that it was reviewing its 2018 balance sheet as part of an effort to reclassify a ?2.6m accrual and a ?10m loan as liabilities.

As far as dividends went, McColl's said: "Deleveraging the balance sheet is one of our key priorities for 2020 so, in combination with a number of cash management initiatives implemented by the executive team, the board has taken the difficult but prudent decision to suspend the final dividend for the 2019 financial year.

"The board recognises that dividend payments are an important part of the group's returns to shareholders and will keep the dividend policy under review with the aim of reinstating the payment of dividends at an affordable and sustainable level, once our strategic change programme gathers momentum and the group deleverages."

As of 1600 GMT, McColl's shares were down 12.06% at 37.90p.

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