Retail news round-up on May 23, 2014: Aldi to recruit 5,000 UK staff, Tesco’s Clarke and McIlwee lose bonus, Mothercare gets extra support from banks
Aldi to recruit 5,000 staff in the UK
German discounter Aldi is planning to recruit 5,000 more staff in the UK this year as it plans to accelerate its dramatic growth in the country, The Telegraph reported. Among the 5,000 staff, the chain is seeking 150 new store managers and 400 assistant managers. The retailer wants to hire the staff for new stores, but also for existing outlets that need additional workers to cope with the increasingly popularity of the German chain. Aldi is creating an academy at its distribution centre in Middleton, Greater Manchester which will help to train full-time and part-time staff.
Tesco’s Philip Clarke and Laurie McIlwee denied annual bonus after missing targets
Tesco’s chief executive Philip Clarke and the outgoing finance director Laurie McIlwee will miss out on an annual bonus for 2013/14 after the UK’s biggest retailer saw profits slump 6%, Reuters reported. According to the grocer’s annual report, neither of them were handed a bonus for the year to February 22. Meanwhile, McIlwee is in line to collect a £970,800 golden goodbye when he exits the supermarket chain this October. He will continue to collect his salary of £886,420 for the six-month period. Tesco said McIlwee would receive a payment on departure because he had left by mutual agreement.
Booker’s full-year profit soars 33%
The UK’s biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler Booker Group has recorded a 33% jump in its full-year profits propelled by a rise in non-tobacco products sales to independent retailers and caterers, Reuters reported. In the 52 weeks to March 28, total sales, including Makro, grew by 17% to £4.68bn against a year earlier. Like-for-like sales excluding Makro grew 2.1% for the year. Booker’s pretax profit increased to £122.1m from £92.1m a year ago. The wholesaler is to return £61m to investors in a special dividend that will be repeated next year. The cash payout would help to repay the equity dilution that shareholders suffered when Booker raised £124m of equity to help to fund its purchase of the retailer Makro in 2012.
Mothercare gets extra support from banks
Mothercare shares soared yesterday after it announced it had received extra support from its banks and that annual profits had surpassed expectations. The company negotiated a £10m extension to its £90m debt facility with HSBC and Barclays according to The Times. It reported a 61% jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £9.5 million for the 12 months to March 29 on sales marginally ahead at £1.1 billion.