Hardware retailer Robert Dyas has launched a 100-day invigoration programme after striking a refinancing deal.
The 99-store retailer, which earlier this year teetered on the brink of collapse as it laboured under a debt burden, has agreed a debt for equity swop with lenders Lloyds TSB and Allied Irish.
Robert Dyas has also appointed former Kingfisher chief executive Geoff Brady as chairman. He replaces Ian Gray, the turnaround specialist who steered the refinancing and will remain on the retailer’s board.
Robert Dyas said it has been relieved of £47m of liabilities, reduced its cost of borrowing by £2m a year and revised its banking covenants.
Chief executive Steven Round, who along with Gray led a management buy-out in April, said priorities will include better availability to ensure Robert Dyas delivers on its convenience market positioning.
He said that during Robert Dyas’s difficulties, many suppliers had been supportive but others had not. The refinancing represents a new beginning for the retailer, Round said.
He maintained it is an “exciting time” for the company, which had been “competing with one arm behind its back” under its debt burden.
Robert Dyas reported that like-for-likes during its second quarter rose by 3.5%, margins have been held steady and underlying EBITDA for the year to date is up on last year. In July, the retailer unveiled a new store design which, it said, “has garnered extremely favourable feedback form customers”.
Round said: “While the trading environment remains tough, our ability to be seen as ‘the really useful store’ and deliver great value products for customers has enabled the group to deliver resilient trading figures. We remain committed to retaining our unique position on the high street.”
The retailer also said that Graham Coles and Phil Green, finance director and commercial director respectively, are joining the board.