Warning of significant losses sends retailer’s share price crashing to all-time low
Safestyle’s share price fell by more than 40% this morning to an all-time low after the doors and windows specialist warned it expected to lose £10m this year.
It sparked a sell-off, with shareholders nervous that the Bradford-based group could get close to maxing out its £7.5m debt facilities.
Safestyle’s share price has been in long-term decline. It has lost 90% of its value since the start of 2020 while its 2017 peak – when its market value reached £250m – is a long-forgotten memory.
This morning’s fall means the company is now valued at just £7m.
Safestyle has launched deeper cost-cutting measures as it prepares for a very poor performance in its “most important trading period of the year”.
Customer orders usually rise significantly between mid-August and early December as homeowners respond to the changing weather.
Orders are currently down 11% year-on-year and other indicators, such as online search activity, are down markedly – despite industry statistics showing Safestyle has gained market share. The company blamed a combination of macroeconomic factors and the “hottest early September on record” for the fall in sales.
Safestyle’s board is now forecasting an underlying loss of £9.5m-£10.5m and annual revenues to drop to between £140m-£142m.
It has brought in a range of cost-cutting measures, including reduced shifts in its factory, and voluntary pay and fee waivers for the board.
It expects its net debt to be between £5.5m-£6.5m at the end of the year, and the company currently has debt facilities of £7.5m in place.
Safestyle said it “intends to engage with stakeholders to strengthen the balance sheet” in order to support its recovery.
In a statement to the stock market, Safestyle said: “The board maintains the growth recovery prospects are strong and clear data highlighting the UK’s ageing housing stock in need of repair underpins this.”