Masters keeps hammering Woolworths as losses widen

 In Australia, NewZealand, Woolworths
Losses have widened at Woolworths’ home improvement joint venture with US retailer Lowe’s despite their attempts to cut costs, boost sales and put a brake on new stores.
Figures released on Wednesday by Lowe’s suggest that losses at the joint venture, which owns Masters, Home Timber & Hardware and Thrifty-link stores, widened to around $57 million in the three months ending October, up from a loss of $38.8 million in the previous quarter and a loss of $48.6 million in the first quarter of 2014.
Analysts now believe that home improvement losses this year may exceed earlier forecasts around $180 million and the $169 million loss in 2014.
"The continued large size of the losses on the Masters venture is disappointing," said Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Simotas.
The losses would have been higher if Woolworths’ new home improvement boss, Matt Tyson, hadn’t decided to slow the roll out of new stores. Woolworths plans to open around 10 to 15 Masters stores a year for the next few years and is tweaking the Masters offer, devoting more space to categories that drive customer visits such as hardware.  Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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