Makro optimistic in face of further losses

Makro Cash amp; Carry insists it remains on track to turn around its fortunes, despite suffering an increase in pre-tax losses.

Accounts filed with Companies House show that the cash amp; carry giant’s losses in the year to December 2008 rose to £26.7m, up from £19.4m in the previous 12 months.

Turnover fell 2.6% to £899m, while the chain admitted customer numbers were down 12.4% and that non-food sales had fallen by 16%. However, there was some cheer as food sales rose by 4.1%.

UK MD Hannes Floto claimed the results were in line with expectations following a “difficult but busy year of continued investment and strategic development”.

He said: “We’re satisfied with the progress we’re making and feel we have accomplished a great deal in 2008 with our ongoing turnaround programme.”

Fresh looks at some of Makro’s stores, kicking off with revamps at Manchester and Queensferry last year, had continued into 2009 with makeovers at a further eight stores, added Floto.

“We also made significant improvements in availability and supply. The result has been year on year growth in our food sales, supported by an industry leading offer in ultra fresh.”

Meanwhile, Makro’s efforts to position itself as a greener retailing campaigner have been bolstered by the award of Carbon Trust Standard Certification. It recognises a number of measures that the company has taken to reduce its carbon footprint since 2006, including targets to continue cutting energy waste.

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