CJ Lang reports positive start to its turnaround plan

Scottish SPAR wholesaler and retailer CJ Lang&Son Limited has reported a growth in sales and underlying profits as it starts to implement its strategy for growth.

The one hundred year old wholesale and community convenience store business, based in Dundee, has published its financial statement for the year ending 30 April 2019.

Turnover has increased for the first time in four years, up 2.6%, to £187.9m and margins have also improved to 24.3%, from 23.9% last year.  Underlying profits, before exceptional costs, have increased by 56% to £764,000.  The booking of a significant one-off cost of £1.6m, primarily to cover asset write-downs and lease charges resulting from the closure of a number of long term loss making stores, has resulted in the posting of a net loss.

CJ Lang&Son Limited CEO, Colin McLean, commented: “I am pleased to report the growth in turnover and underlying profit and it confirms that the very early stages of our strategy for growth, outlined last year, are driving positive change.

“Buoyed by last year’s good summer, our growth is a result of several key changes, including a focus on improving and implementing consistent store standards, the development of our independent customer base and improvements to our offer in order to meet the changing customer needs within convenience retailing.

McLean said: “During the year we have had to take difficult decisions necessary to improve the profitability of our business and either disposed of or closed several long-term, loss making stores. Like many other retailers, we are also experiencing significant cost increasesin a highly challenging retail market.

“We will continue to follow our strategic path, focussing initially on a back to basics programme, coupled with initiatives to improve our offer, attract more independent retailers to SPAR Scotland and to improve the profitability of our business.

“As the SPAR wholesaler for Scotland, we are focused on providing our customers with our excellent SPAR award winning own label ranges, together with the best local ranges and deals to give them a real reason to shop in our stores.”

“I would like to thank all our customers and staff for their continued support,” he added.