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Interim examiner appointed to Homebase Ireland

An interim examiner has been appointed to the DIY and homeware retailer Homebase Ireland, which employs 558 people at 15 shops in Ireland of whom 114 are full-time.

Outlets would continue to trade as normal during the examinership, Homebase said.

However it said consideration would need to be given to closing non-viable stores. This would mean three of its 15 stores would close; in Fonthill, Carlow and Castlebar.
Homebase is a wholly-owned subsidiary of British company Home Retail Group plc.

The future viability of the remaining 12 stores will depend on a number of factors including securing the agreement of individual landlords of improved lease terms.
All ordered products, pre-payments, credit notes and gift vouchers would be fully honoured and all staff would continue to be paid, Homebase said.

The High Court has appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as Interim Examiner.

Homebase Ireland said it had experienced a 31 per cent reduction in sales since 2009 and it has been unprofitable for each of the past five years, despite significant remedial action being taken by management.

In addition, its ability to reduce operating costs has been restricted by the existence of “upward only” rent reviews on its store leases.
Robert Burke, Homebase Ireland's chairman said: “The significant deterioration in consumer spending over the last five years coupled with high rents at each of our stores has made restructuring an imperative in order to re-establish a sustainable business, to secure the future of as many stores as possible and to protect as many jobs as possible."

Source: Post Reporter
The Daily Business Post

16 July 2013
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