Wilko’s sales improve after a tough year

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PRIVATELY-owned value retailer Wilko said it has seen an upturn in sales after “another tough year”.

The company reported sales for the 2014/2015 year of £1.4bn, a fall of 1.2 per cent, which it said was a reflection of another challenging year in the UK retail market. Pre-tax profits fell to £5.5m from £27.7m the year before. However, the company said that the sales decline reduced during the second half of the year, with a “particularly good” performance in the run-up to Christmas and during January.

Wilko said its financial position remained strong, with a net cash inflow from operating activity during the year of £39.3m, leaving a balance of £46.6m of net funds. This figure takes into account the costs of a group restructuring in March 2014. As part of this restructuring, the founder’s daughter Barbara Wilkinson and grand-daughter Karin Swann and family ceased to be shareholders in the group.

Wilko has a number of stores in Yorkshire, including an outlet on Albion Street in Leeds.