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Made.com slashes outlook on Britain's waning big ticket demand

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LONDON (Reuters) -British online furniture retailer Made.com on Tuesday slashed its sales and earnings guidance for 2022, saying it did not expect an improvement in demand for big-ticket items any time soon.

Confidence levels among Britain's consumers sank to a record low last month as they struggle with the accelerating cost of living. Wages are failing to keep pace with inflation that hit a more than 40-year high of 9.1% in May and is heading for double digits.

On Monday, British food delivery company Deliveroo slashed its full-year revenue guidance, as consumers cut down on takeaways.

Made.com said its gross sales fell 19% in the first half of 2022 year-on-year.

Reflecting recent non-recurring costs, volatile trading and an expectation of no near-term improvement in discretionary big-ticket demand nor in new customer acquisition, the group forecast a 15% to 30% fall in full year gross sales, having previously guided a flat to down 15% performance.

It also forecast a core loss of 50 million pounds to 70 million pounds ($60-$84 million), versus a previous expectation of a loss of 15 million pounds to 35 million pounds.

"It's clear that things are tough for consumers at the moment. Understandably, we've seen a worsening in consumer confidence since May," said CEO Nicola Thompson.

She said the firm would seek to take more costs out of the business and strengthen its balance sheet "to navigate what will undoubtedly continue to be challenging conditions".

Made.com listed on the London stock exchange in June last year with a market value of 775 million pounds. Its capitalisation at Monday's close was 151 million pounds, with the stock down 72% so far this year.

($1 = 0.8354 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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