Retail shares plummet on profit alert and finance chief exit

M lost a fifth of its value today after the online furniture retailer U-turned on an earlier forecast of turning a profit this year and announced its CFO was leaving.

Shares fell 22% in early trading after the company posted a 10% drop in sales in the first quarter. Made was hit by falling consumer demand and supply chain disruption.

The retailer warned supply chain issues would lead to a £5 million earning hit this year and said losses could be as much as £35 million for 2022. In March, the company had predicted a profit.

Sales for 2022 are now set to fall by as much as 15% and the company no longer expects to meet its target of £1.2 billion sales by 2025.

Boss Nicola Thompson said: “There is no escaping the tough trading environment at the moment.”

Made warned marketplace conditions would “remain highly challenging” for the rest of 2022 but said freight costs were normalising.

CFO Adrian Evans today also announced he would be stepping down from his role, to be replaced by former John Lewis Partnership finance chief Patrick Lewis. Evans, who joined in 2017 and will remain in post until September, is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

A J Bell Investment director Russ Mould said: “’s profit warning coincides with the appointment of new finance boss Patrick Lewis who now has the perfect excuse to have a good look through the cupboards and further reset expectations once he starts next month.”

Made’s shares have lost 74% of their value since the firm’s June 2021 IPO, amid supply chain woes and rising costs.

Last year the retailer was forced to put up prices after being hit by soaring shipping costs. Furniture prices have risen almost 17% in the past year, according to ONS data.

Last week, Made acquired online marketplace Trouva in a bid to improve its technology capability and expand its online product range.

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