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Catch posts $108 million half-year loss as sales plunge

Wesfarmer’s e-commerce division Catch has reported a loss of $108 million in its December half, weighed down by restructuring costs and a massive drop in sales.

Wesfarmers MD, Rob Scott, admitted in the company’s half-yearly results that Catch’s financial performance was “disappointing” and added the results “reflected operational and execution challenges” amidst an overall decline in online retail demand during the period.

However, Catch’s gross transaction value fell 26.8 per cent, impacted by what Wesfarmers described as a significantly lower margin in the business’s in-stock division due to higher clearance activity, along with rising fulfilment and delivery costs associated with the new Moorebank fulfilment centre in NSW.

The restructuring costs accounted for $33 million of the overall deficit.

The company axed 100 jobs last week stating the business needs to “adjust” to the changes in online demand that has occurred following the Covid period, suggesting more red ink looms once those costs are taken into account in the second half.

During the half, several management and leadership changes were made with Brendan Sweeney appointed as Catch’s new MD in October.

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