“Richard Izard and his team have done a great job and significantly improved MVC’s profitably this year," commented Woolworths CEO Trevor Bish-Jones. “The business has a loyal customer base and over 2.3 million more loyalty cardholders together with a great workforce.
“However, going forward, the business needs investment and, currently, this does not fit in with Woolworths Group’s priorities. It is therefore time for a new owner to take MVC to the next level.”
Woolworths plans to restructure the chain in advance of a sale, closing the 14 worst performing stores by the end of April and making changes at head office. MVC, established in 1991, currently has 81 stores and became part of the Woolworths Group in 2000.
Meanwhile, for its financial year-end to January 29th, the Group reported profits ahead of expectations, up 4.7 per cent to £73.1m, with sales at £2.86bn, up from £2.77bn.
Like-for-like sales, however, were down by 1.7 per cent, with sales down at the Mainchain arm by 1.3 per cent, 3.5 per cent at big W, and 4.8 per cent at MVC. Pre-tax profits fell to £9.3m.
Woolworths is currently considering an £837m acquisition bid from private equity firm Apax Partners.