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British retailer McColl's shares plunge 33% as shortages intensify

By Reuters

-British convenience retailer McColl’s forecast lower annual profit on Wednesday, as a shortage of lorry drivers and insufficient supply of key products intensified in the fourth quarter and hit revenue, sending its shares down 33%.

As of 0808 GMT, shares hit a record low of 11.7 pence and were headed for the worst day in their seven-year period as a listed entity.

McColl’s said it is working with its wholesale partner, Morrisons, to restore product availability, but have been unable to entirely mitigate the impact of supply chain issues to stores, leading to significantly lower-than-anticipated revenue.

Retailers globally are grappling with tighter labour markets and stagnant supply chains as economies reopen from pandemic curbs, while Britain is also coping with a shortage of workers from the European Union due to Brexit.

“It is disappointing to see supply chain issues worsen through the second half, but external factors have not eased, and continue to impact much of the UK economy,” Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Miller said.

McColl’s, which has a network of 1,265 convenience stores and news agents across England, Scotland and Wales, now expects to deliver a core profit between 20 million pounds and 22 million pounds ($26.93 million-$29.62 million) for the 12 months through Nov. 28.

Last year, the company reported a core profit of 29.1 million pounds.

($1 = 0.7427 pounds)