Lang time coming

New executive team plans big change

(From left) New to CJ Lang, Craig Tedford, Colin McLean, and Jim Hepburn

THE new faces at the top of CJ Lang have made clear their intentions to revamp the Dundee-based wholesaler and retailer’s offer, while improving the overall profitability of the business.

New chief executive Colin McLean stated his desire to rejuvenate the business as CJ Lang published its financial results for the year ending 30 April 2018.

McLean, formerly of Scotmid, was appointed to his new role on 9 April this year along with new finance director Craig Tedford, with chairman Jim Hepburn joining CJ Lang on 4 May.

The trio are in the process of implementing a new strategy for the business which they hope will lead to improved fortunes for CJ Lang and a better service for retailers.

CJ Lang’s end of year results for 2017/18 revealed a 1.3% dip in turnover on the previous year, down to £183.1m.

Net profits were down 44% from £656,000 in 2016/17 to £367,000, although a significant portion of this decline can be attributed to the one-off costs of addressing slow moving and obsolete stock, “built up over many years” — according to the new directors.

Despite the somewhat subdued end of year results for 2017/18, McLean said first half figures for 2018/19 are already showing promise.

McLean said: “The 2017/18 financial year results were mostly in line with expectations during a tough period for retail and wholesale as we continued to meet the changing customer needs within convenience retailing.

“This requires, and will continue to require, the taking of difficult decisions that will protect the business in the future.

“The new management team is focused on developing a long term differentiated strategy to build sustainable profit growth and we have already introduced a number of initiatives across the business which are beginning to drive real improvement.

“Buoyed by the good summer, we have had a strong start to our new financial year. We have new stores planned to open over the next 12 months and we are supporting our independent retailers and company owned stores with market leading deals, whilst pushing record volumes through our distribution centre and maintaining our excellent levels of service.

“As well as maintaining a tight control on costs, our focus is on delivering long term profitable growth, both at retail and wholesale, by working closely with our retailers and suppliers.

“I would like to thank all our customers and staff for their continued support.”