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E-commerce

Catch pays $20m in dividends, opens new warehouse amidst “significant growth”

Online marketplace Catch Group has secured a new 22,000sqm warehouse in Truganina, Melbourne, featuring a multi-shuttle, state-of-the-art robotic system that will increase the company’s fulfilment capacity.

Catch Group chief executive Nati Harpaz said that customers expect fast delivery, and the new site will allow the retailer to continue to meet this need for the next few years.

“Catch Group has been experiencing significant growth over the last two years, as we continue to expand our product offering and grow our Marketplace,” Harpaz said.

“The new warehouse will allow us to continue to expand the range of products we offer through in-stock and widen several categories such as pantry and fast-moving consumer goods.”

The warehouse is expected to be operational in January 2019.

The group recently revealed a net profit of approximately $1 million in the year to 30 June 2018 in documents filed with ASIC, a significant decrease from the previous years $7 million.

This decreased profit, however, was dragged down by a recognised impairment of $5.27 million, leading the business to see a loss of $4.26 million for the year to 30 June 2018.

Part of the impairment was tied to the acquisition of Lux Products Pty Ltd on December 1, 2017, which saw an impairment of goodwill on acquisition of $4.9 million.

These figures have led to some questions over the business paying a dividend of over $20 million to shareholders, double what it paid for the same period in 2017.

It remains to be seen what impact these figures will have on a possible IPO, which Catch is reportedly pursuing. According to the AFR the company has hired UBS and Canaccord Genuity to prepare, although a Catch spokesperson told Internet Retailing that no final decision had been made regarding a potential IPO.

However, a raft of recent board appointments would seem to lend credence to the IPO rumors. The group also announced the appointment of Gary Levin to the role of chairman, while confirming Susan Forrester and Evonne Collier will join the board in the capacity of independent non-executive directors.

“I’m excited to welcome this group of incredibly talented individuals to the Board of Catch Group,” Harpaz said.

“I look forward to working closely with Gary as we utilise Catch’s highly scalable operating platform to grow our presence in the $18 billion Australian online retail market.”

Levin noted that the team at Catch had done a sensational job in building its online presence, in part due to its entrepreneurial and experienced management.

“Susan and Evonne bring with them a wealth of experience advising both public and private companies, helping them scale up and grow efficiently and effectively,” Levin said.

“Between them they have over 50 years’ operational and managerial experience which will be invaluable to the Group as we continue to look towards our next phase of growth.”

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