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Makro slashes losses to 20m after cutbacks

Makro, the operator of 30 cash and carry warehouses, cut more than 1,000 jobs and closed three sites as it slashed annual losses to £20m last year, from £44.7m in 2009.

The improvement was not enough to save the jobs of chief executive Hannes Floto and nearly his entire executive team, who were ousted in June "due to differing views" on the company's strategic direction.

Accounts for 2010 reveal a fall in sales of 8.2% from £867.8m to £796.8m as a result of tough trading, store closures and the loss of "non-core customers" due to a refocusing of the business to target catering professionals.

Redundancy payments of £3.7m were made during the year as employee numbers fell from 5,086 to 4,080. The cuts helped Eccles-based Makro to save more than £10m from its wages bill, which was reduced to £61.49m.

During this year, further restructuring has been taking place under the new management regime, with some 90 head office positions across a range of departments being affected.

Makro is part of German retail giant Metro AG - one of the largest food retailers in the world.

In the report accompanying the accounts, the directors said the focus for 2011 includes improving its e-commerce offer and food service delivery capability, making selective investment in store improvements, focusing on customer service and making its supply chain more efficient.

Source : Chris Barry – The Business Desk (North West)

13 October 2011
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