Wyevale Garden Centres registers £120m annual loss for 2016

Wyevale Garden Centres has filed its accounts with Companies House for the year ended December 25, 2016, with poor weather during the peak season cited as contributing to the Group’s loss for the year after tax of £120.2 million.

Noting a year of significant change for the group, with a new management team and new group strategy formulated, the company’s report added: “2016 was a challenging year for the sector generally, with unseasonable weather in the early part of peak season (March & April).”

Turnover for the year was listed as £254.0m (up from £253.6m in 2015), while reported operating loss was £105.5m after charging non-cash depreciation of £13.8m and non-recurring items of £99.1m to the profit and loss account.

Looking ahead, the report, signed by director Anthony Jones on behalf of the Board, noted potential risks to the business in the form of the impact of unpredictable weather, liquidity risk and Brexit.

The statement noted: “One of the main risks to the Group is the weather due to the nature of the principal activity of the Group which is highly seasonal. The plant area of the business and associated garden products is particularly susceptible to the weather with adverse weather having a negative impact on the performance mainly around our peak season, Spring-Summer.

“The Directors seek to mitigate this risk by continuing to invest in the Group’s restaurants and concessions which are less weather dependent, as well as other less weather dependent own retail product categories.”

On Brexit, it was added: “Management expect that the key risks and impact to the Company would lie in the overall impact Brexit may have on the UK economy and consumer confidence, as well as volatility of foreign exchange rates in respect of goods purchased from overseas in foreign currencies.

“The Company will continue to monitor closely the financial impact of these risks and react as necessary.”

However, despite these challenges the company remains bullish, with the statement also noting: “As management implement the next phase of the strategy, the Directors expect the Company to continue to grow and develop over the future years.”