Retail chain Blokker booked record €180 mil. loss in 2016

Blokker Logo (photo: commons. Logo (photo: commons.

Blokker Holding suffered a massive 180 million euros loss in 2016 - the biggest loss the retail group ever booked since its establishment in 1896, NOS reports. 

The bulk of the loss can be attributed to store closures. Blokker's reorganization in the Netherlands and Belgium and reorganizations at Xenos and Intertoys cost the company over 100 million euros. In addition to that, sales at Blokker, Xenos, Marskramer and Big Bazar were disappointing. Revenues decreased by 5 percent, from 2,076 billion euros in 2015 to 1,965 billion euros in 2016.

Turnover at the stores fell due to the closure of 105 stores. Online sales increased by 40 million euros to 173 million euros.

"We largely expected the loss", Blokker CEO Casper Meijer said, according to NOS. "Of the net loss, more than half can be attributed to restructuring costs." The operational loss came down to 49 million euros. 

Last month Blokker Holding announced a major reorganization. The company will only continue with Blokker stores. Over a hundred stores will close and some 2 thousand jobs will be lost. Toy chains Intertoys and MaxiToys and household shops Xenos and Big Bazar will be sold. Leen Bakker has already been sold to investment group Gilde, according to NOS.

Meijer stressed that Blokker Holding has sufficient financial resources and support from shareholders for the new strategy. The company has a credit line of 485 million euros until 2021. 

Last year was the third year in a row that Blokker Holding suffered a loss. In 2014 the company booked a loss of 20 million euros and in 2015 a loss of 52 million euros. 

The company expects that reorganization costs will also put this years' results, and possibly 2018's as well, under pressure.