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Confidence returns at Robert Dyas

High street home and hardware retailer Robert Dyas is looking forward to a brighter year ahead after a number of years of stagnation and upheaval.

Finance Director Graham Coles told retailmoves.com that confidence has returned at the top level of the company following a period of change at the business.

Reflecting on today’s annual results, which show that the firm reversed a £10.4 million loss from 2008-09 with a pre-tax profit of £2.7 million in the 12 months to March 27th, Coles spoke of the plans ahead.

“We are embarking on a development programme for the first time in several years,” he explained. “The last store we opened a new shop prior to 2009-10 was three years ago. Our self-confidence has returned.”

Now the restructuring at the top level is over, which saw Steve Round arrive as CEO in 2008, a management buyout occur in spring 2009 and Allied Irish and Lloyds agree to a debt-for-equity swap last September, the business is in a position to move forward.

Coles said restructuring was “a distraction”, but now debt has been reduced to a more appropriate level. Around six stores will open in the year ahead and some seven shops are scheduled to be refurbished to help develop the new brand image, which will generate “a younger, fresher feel”.

It is expected that approximately 100 jobs - both part-time and full-time - will be created by this expansion.

There is never time for businesses to rest on their laurels though, and home improvement retailer B&Q’s recent announcement to open smaller city centre stores across the UK is sure to have been noted.

Coles commented: “We focus on the convenience factor and smaller value purchases - we’re in different markets.” Confidence, it seems, is definitely back at Robert Dyas.

Source : Ben Sillitoe - Retailmoves.com

23 July 2010
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