Feb 21, 2018

Homebase owner Wesfarmers sees profits down 86.6%

The costs of overhauling UK DIY business Homebase contributed to a huge slump in profits for its Australian owner in the second half of last year. The "Rapid repositioning" hurt the bottom line, with profits down 86.6%. Earlier this month Wesfarmers said 40 Homebase stores could be closed, putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk. Wesfarmers confirmed that five loss-making Homebase branches were closed between July and December. The conglomerate, which also owns Australian supermarket giant Coles, posted profits of 212m Australian dollars for the half, compared with A$1.6bn a year earlier. Despite the profit slide, Wesfarmers' Sydney-listed shares were up 3% in afternoon trade.

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