JD Sports set to appoint administrators to Go Outdoors

Mon, 22 Jun 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

JD Sports Fashion has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators to its subsidiary Go Outdoors. Go Outdoors specialises in camping equipment, bikes and outdoor clothes, it employs around 2,300 people at 67 stores. JD Sports acquired the chain for £112 million in 2016. The notice of intention provides the company legal protection from creditors for ten days.

JD has appointed Deloitte to act as administrators for the chain, which is reported to have run a sale process over recent weeks to sound out potential buyers. According to sources, JD will use an insolvency process to restructure the retailer and is said to be keen to retain control over a slimmed-down Go Outdoors. The company could also seek rent holidays or reductions at some stores or job cuts.

Go Outdoors has struggled over recent years and its problems were exacerbated by forced store closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of its stores began to reopen in May, but sales are likely to have been impacted by continued restrictions on outdoor activities and campsites being closed.

Go Outdoors most recent accounts were filed to the year ending February 2 2019. In that period, the company reported turnover of around £240.2 million, up from £232.4 million the year prior. It registered gross profit of £72.9 million, down from £75.7 million in 2018, and reported losses of £802,000, down from a profit of £7 million the year before. EBITDA for the period stood at £9.3 million.

In those financial reports, Go Outdoors reported fixed assets valued at £32.8 million and current assets of £66.2 million. Its total assets less current liabilities were valued at £22 million, with net assets valued at £14.4 million.

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