(Alliance News) - Shares in Appreciate Group PLC sunk on Wednesday after the Merseyside-based multi-retailer revealed an annual profit fall and said it will end production of its famed Christmas hampers.
Appreciate shares were 12% lower at 35.12 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.
In the financial year that ended March 31, revenue inched 2.1% higher to GBP112.7 million from GBP110.4 million.
However, pretax profit fell 32% to GBP7.7 million from GBP11.3 million. Appreciate, which provides gift cards and vouchers, was hurt by impairments of goodwill and impairments of assets held for sale totalling GBP1.3 million and GBP1.7 million, respectively. Such exceptional costs were not incurred a year earlier.
Administrative expenses climbed 15% to GBP20.0 million from GBP17.4 million.
Appreciate, formerly known as Park Group, said its first 11 months went according to plan before Covid-19 lockdowns hit its trading in March.
The company decided against making any payout during the year, after a 3.20p dividend in the year prior.
Appreciate said: "We are now proposing to cease production of hampers and merchandise. This decision was initially taken for the Christmas 2020 season to protect the health of our workforce and provide our customers with certainty given the potential for disruption in the supply chain during the ongoing lockdown and potential of further restrictions.
"This enabled us to carry out a longer-term review of the future of the hamper business, and we have commenced consultation with colleagues about proposals to close this part of our business. Whilst hampers were the roots from which we grew as a business more than 50 years ago, they now only equate for less than 2% of billings and are no longer considered part of our future strategy."
By Eric Cunha; firstname.lastname@example.org
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