A transformational year with full year results expected to be marginally ahead of market expectations
Conviviality Plc (AIM: CVR), the UK’s leading independent alcohol wholesaler serving consumers through the on-trade and through its Franchise retail estate, provides an update on trading for the 53 weeks to 1 May 2016 (FY15: 52 weeks to 26 April 2015) and the acquisition of Bibendum PLB Group.
The year has seen the transformational acquisition of Matthew Clark on 7 October 2015 and the Company significantly progress its strategy of leveraging its strength as the UK’s leading specialist alcohol wholesaler and distributor which will be further augmented by the acquisition of Bibendum PLB Group.
The Company has traded well with Group sales increasing by 137% to approximately £864 million (2014/15 £364 million). EBITDA is expected to be marginally ahead of market expectations and we expect to end the year with net debt of approximately £87 million.
During the year, Conviviality Retail opened 126 new stores. In addition, the number of store closures fell to 34 (2014/15: 63) resulting in net store growth of 92 and an increase in the number of stores to 716 as at 1 May 2016. During the year Conviviality Retail attracted 38 new Franchisees and the number of stores owned by multi-site franchisees increased by 42% to 364 (April 2015: 257).
Wholesale sales were in line with last year and like for like retail sales generated by our Franchise stores improved to (1.3)% (FY15: (1.7)%). Wine Rack continued to trade well with like for like sales up 3.2%.
Matthew Clark has traded strongly since acquisition with sales up 4.9% on the corresponding prior period. The number of outlets supplied has increased 2.9% since acquisition with the number of customers also 2.9% higher.
The Directors believe that the recently approved acquisition of Bibendum PLB Group provides further opportunities and benefits to the Group and a detailed integration plan is in place. The plan follows the same integration principles successfully deployed on Matthew Clark. We will provide a further update on synergies in July, when the Group will announce its Final Results for the year.
Diana Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Conviviality Plc, said:
"We have successfully completed a transformational year for the Company, its employees, customers and Franchisees. We look forward to a strong set of results reflecting our transition to being the UK’s leading independent alcohol wholesaler, serving consumers through the on-trade and through its Franchise retail estate. The acquisitions of Matthew Clark, Peppermint and Bibendum PLB Group enable Conviviality to fulfil its aim to satisfy all consumer drinking occasions, enabling it to have unrivalled insight and expertise as the drinks sector’s leading wholesaler and distributor. I would like to thank the passionate and talented team who work at Conviviality, our suppliers, our customers and our Franchisees for their support. I continue to be encouraged by the Company’s achievements and the opportunities we have for the business.”