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Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group warns of Covid-19 hit, as retailers wait until April to reopen shops

<p>Frasers Group is behind retail chains including Sports Direct</p>

Frasers Group is behind retail chains including Sports Direct

/ Rui Vieira/PA
23 February 2021

rasers Group, the retail business led by Mike Ashley, has warned it could book a non-cash impairment charge in excess of £100 million, as firms prepare to wait until April to reopen stores.

The company, which is behind chains such as Sports Direct, Evans Cycles and Jack Wills, gave the update after the government yesterday said ‘non-essential’ will reopen from April 12.

Much of the high street has been closed at various points since the first lockdown in March 2020, and the latest national lockdown began in January.

Frasers Group said following the details on the potential reopening plan, it “currently anticipates making material accounting impairments to freehold properties, other Property, Plant & Equipment, and IFRS 16 Right of Use Assets”.

The FTSE 250 firm added: “Given the length of this current lockdown, potential systemic changes to consumer behaviour, and the risk of further restrictions in future, we believe this non-cash impairment could be in excess of £100m.”

Frasers Group said any such impairment would be in addition to impairments included in the half year results announced in December, and is expected to be included, subject to audit, with the firm's results for the financial year ending April 2021.