Trouble for Blokker, with record loss and halved turnover

Trouble for Blokker, with record loss and halved turnover

Dutch retailer Blokker has once again incurred substantial losses, and turnover almost halved. Still, its CEO sees "improvements" - and important issues with its online and Belgian activities. 

 

Write-offs

In 2018, Blokker Holding matched its record loss of 344 million euros from the year before. The catastrophic annual figures are no surprise: last week owner Michiel Witteveen had already made it clear that the loss would again run into the hundreds of millions. It is the fifth consecutive year that the holding company occurs losses. The chain struggles in Belgium and has problems with its online activities, which Witteveen equates with losing money. 

 

However, a small silver lining is that write-offs related to the sale of business units are largely responsible for the huge loss. Blokker Holding sold interior design chain Xenos and toy store chain Maxi Toys; all impairments and restructuring charges together amounted to 184 million euros.

 

What about Belgium?

However, even without taking into account all one-off costs, there still was a loss of 117 million euros, Dutch newspaper NRC writes. This is slightly better than in 2017, when the company still had a gross deficit of 133 million euros. Meanwhile, the turnover of the group, now called Mirage Retail Group, has halved to 817 million euros. This is, of course, primarily due to the divestment of retail chains and the closure of retail outlets.

 

Witteveen has already made it clear that there will be no profit this year either, but in 2020 he hopes to reach the break-even point. Incidentally, it cannot be ruled out that the chain in Belgium will close stores again: the CEO has already said that the "Belgian branch is “a problem", whose situation will be evaluated in January.