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Wesfarmers looks to close 40 Homebase stores after huge write-off

 

Homebase owner Wesfarmers is considering closing more than 15% of branches after writing off £454m in the chain.

‘The Homebase acquisition has been below our expectations which is obviously disappointing,’ said Rob Scott, Wesfarmers md. The Australian group paid Home Retail Group £340m for Homebase in 2016 and expects it to lose £97m in the first half of this year.

Wesfarmers said the UK market was very different and more fragmented, compared to Australia when it operates huge megastores.

The group said it would review Homebase’s performance and make its findings known in June, but it had been encouraged by the performance of the branches which it had converted to the Bunnings fascia.