Maplin is pleased to announce its financial results for the year ended 18 March 2017 and an update on its business developments since the period end.
The financial year 2017 marked the start of a multi-year investment programme in Maplin's 2020 vision. While underlying EBITDA was a healthy £12.3m, it is lower year-on-year owing to substantial investment made across the business; developing a refresh of the brand identity, improvements to the digital infrastructure, focusing on the Smart product categories and the successful 'store of the future' pilot in Cambridge. The foundations of the connected services offering were also laid with the expansion of installation services and the trial of free home surveys. Together, these investments both update and broaden the appeal of the brand for today's consumers.
In late 2016 Maplin completed a refinancing of its bank debt, securing an improved debt maturity profile, a lower funding cost and great headroom. As we look forward our banking headroom provides Maplin with greater flexibility should the tough industry conditions remain and allows Maplin to execute on its 2020 strategy, which is designed to future proof the business and realise the huge opportunity in Smart Home.
Oliver Meakin, CEO of Maplin, commented: "We are confident that Maplin has a winning strategy and the financial flexibility to navigate what is a challenging retail backdrop and to fully realise the opportunity that our leadership in Smart Home presents. We have re-energised the business and laid the foundations of the new strategy, which focuses on providing customers with expert advice and installation, to be delivered across a seamless, modern multi-channel offering. Early results are very encouraging with sales of Smart Home products up 161%."
Meakin continues: "I believe that multi-channel will ultimately win out over online only models, with the Maplin full service and expertise our unique selling points for the majority of consumers who want the benefits that technology offers but are uncertain how to best harness them."