Sports Direct owner Frasers warns of £100m Covid writedown

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Frasers Group, the retailer controlled by Sports Direct founder, Mike Ashley, expects to take a hit of more than £100m after the government said non-essential retailers in England would have to wait until 12 April at the earliest to reopen.

The group, which includes Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Flannels, said the sum reflected expected writedowns of the value of its properties and other assets.

“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,” the company said.

Only the group’s Evans Cycles bike chain, which is classed as an essential retailer, has been able to trade throughout the high street lockdowns while sportswear retailer Sports Direct, fast-growing designer fashion concept Flannels and struggling House of Fraser department store chain have been affected by government efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said the majority of Frasers’ writedown was likely to be linked to House of Fraser but the group’s Sports Direct stores could also be affected…

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