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Remaining Next Byte stores to close

10 Dec 15

Vita Group will close its eight remaining Next Byte retail stores early next year.

The closures will begin in January, with Vita saying the specific timing will be dependent on individual store circumstances but the closures will take place over three months.

Vita Group says it aims to redeploy as many Next Byte staff as possible to other areas within the company, but notes ‘if suitable roles cannot be found, retrenchments with full entitlements will be paid’.

Vita will continue providing products and services to Next Byte’s current business customers through its telecommunications small-to-medium business and enterprise channels, the company says.

Vita Group says it expects to incur one-off charges in H2 FY16 of about $3.2 million, reflecting the value of future lease obligations, inventory write-downs and redundancies.

In addition, fixed asset charges of $1.1 million, relating primarily to the write-down of fixtures and fittings, will be taken up.

The company says it expects to save $0.6 million in the second half of FY16 and $1.6 million annually following the closures, reflecting savings in the support centre costs and migration of business to Vita’s other channels.

The Apple retailer has been in the market since 1995 and was acquired by Vita Group in 2007 for $30 million.

On its website, Next Byte says it is ‘the largest and most awarded Apple Premium Reseller within Australia’. However, recent years have seen store numbers dwindle significantly.

In its first half FY16 trading update, Vita Group says it expects to report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) of between $25.5 million and $27.5 million for the six months to 31 December, 2015.

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