Cullens rings up return to black
Thursday 01 June 1995
Cullens, the upmarket convenience store, returned to profit after a dismal performance in 1993-94, when it was left licking its wounds from the foray into fast foods with its Reds Chicken and Rib outlets.
A pre-tax profit of pounds 248,000 for the year ended in February compared to a loss of pounds 674,000 last time was mainly on the back of improved sales from its Neighbourhood Food Stores - up 6 per cent on the same period in 1994. Shop operating profits increased by just over 40 per cent to pounds 959,000.
The focus was on a high turnover of product mix helped by the introduction of new brands. Cullens was the first small grocer to stock Virgin's new Energy soft drink. The market was unimpressed. The shares slid 2p from to 14p despite a return to a final dividend of 0.5p after no payout in 1994.
In a deliberately downbeat statement, Robert Rayne, chairman, warned that an "exceptional summer in 1994" pushed profits up - and was unlikely to be repeated even though like-for-like sales have risen 8 per cent so far this year.
Cullens reaped dividends from the public's return to the high street, but faces competition from the development of Tesco's Metro stores and Sainsbury's Central stores, as well as from Harts, another upmarket grocery chain.
The group is pushing on with its strategy to increase profits through new openings in busy high street locations over the next year and a half. A new store has opened on Putney High Street and the group has plans for one of its largest stores yet on Tottenham Court Road, where foot traffic is high. But it will face competition from Tesco's Metro shop on Oxford Street. This brings the total of new stores to 25.
Gearing remains low at 8.6 per cent but Mr Rayne said this would rise to around 20 per cent in the current year as a result of the new store openings. Net assets stand at pounds 4.7m.
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...