Amid Credit Insurer Fears, Maplin Reveals “Strong” Trading

By Andy Mabbett [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Today, Maplin, a tech retailer, struck back at reports that the high-street chain is experiencing an uncertain future, bringing forward an announcement regarding full-year trading.

The firm revealed a 0.3 percent like-for-like sales rise, adding that the Black Friday trading had been “strong.”

Maplin took the unusual move to quash fears that it was facing difficulties after the revelations of QBE, one of its leading credit insurers, “pulled cover” – where an insurance firm is not any more prepared to guarantee for a firm in return for a premium from suppliers.

Meanwhile, according to a filing at Companies House, Lloyds availed additional security from Maplin at the end of last month. It is understood that Lloyds provides a foreign currency facility to the retailer.

Fresh banking arrangements had been established at the end of last year. Wells Fargo took the place of Investec with facilities that “improved debt maturity profile, a lower funding cost and greater headroom.”

Maplin started a multi-year investment programme at the start of 2017. Earnings dropped to £12.3m from £13.2m, even though the firm said that this was partly an outcome of the “2020 vision” investment.

Oliver Meakin, the Maplin chief executive, stated: “We are confident that Maplin has a winning strategy and the financial flexibility to navigate what is a challenging retail backdrop.

“We have re-energised the business and laid the foundations of the new strategy, which focuses on providing customers with expert advice and installation, to be delivered across a seamless, modern multichannel offering.”

Maplin is owned by private equity house Rutland Partners, the former owners of Bernard Matthews which is Turkish firm.