New Evans Cycles boss Andy King has pointed to adverse market conditions as the retail chain’s EBITDA fell by 58% in the 12 months to October 31st, 2016.
Contrasting against an increased turnover, which rose by 1.9% to £135.8 million, EBITDA fell to £2 million during the period.
An ECI (Evans’ private equity parent) spokesperson has however today told CyclingIndustry.News that the seven months since have again shown green shoots, describing business as “strong with an enhanced focus on margins, stock control, investment in management and training.”
Though rumoured to be closing branches, the retailer has generally been reshuffling as leases expire and opened three branches during the period, bringing the store tally to 60. Indeed CI.N has learned that Evans is currently scouting for premises ahead of two further planned openings. Furthermore, revamps have now been completed at Canary Wharf, Birmingham and Clapham.
King spoke to Retail Week about the current trading conditions, stating: “There have been a number of adverse conditions in the market in recent years such as oversupply, poor weather and roadworks in London, but now there are some really positive elements that will help the overall market grow but also help us grow ahead of that market.
“We’ve had double-digit like-for-like growth for seven months consecutively, seven months of margin and profits improvement and seven months of improved click and collect. What that says to me is that our customers are responding to what we’re doing.”
Evans Cycles is majority-owned by ECI Partners, a private equity group that has pumped extra cash into the business during the difficult period.