Impairment charge agreed within Wyevale Garden Centres audit

Wyevale Garden centres has until September 30 to file accounts at Companies House but is keen to release them by the end of August.

By May 2017, fixed assets were £58.4m lower than budget, mainly because of a £51.3m impairment agreed as part of the audit process, with the remaining difference due to lower capital expenditure.

The group fears headlines about a £100m loss and wants to focus on new management plans under chief executive Roger McLaughlan, appointed in January 2016.

Ahead of announcing results, after auditing by KPMG, Wyevale has been refinancing with Hayfin/Barclays. Auditor Deloittes resigned in January 2017.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the year to 27 December 2015 were £55m, down from £56.1m the previous year. Net assets were £302.3m. Wyevale is now striving to reach £34m EBITDA.

Meanwhile, sales in peak season April 2017 were 20% up but were 9% down in May and have not been strong since, mirroring the rest of the sector.

In December 2015, Dobbies took a £54m loss when Tesco wrote down property values, before Tesco sold the business to Midlothian Capital for £217m in 2016.

Wyevale owner Terra Firma, which bought the chain for £276m in 2012, had to spend £25m buying out a lending bank's debt in January. Terra Firma was outbid for Dobbies by Midlothian in 2016 and Wyevale, which peaked at 151 centres last year, has since bought no more centres and has plans to close three for development.

Wyevale Garden Centres did not comment.

Meanwhile, Wyevale are recruiting for the 11 regional manager roles. There are likely to be several former BHS staff recruited. Wyevale's new retail operations director is former BHS International managing director David Anderson.

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