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British retailer Frasers warns of 200 million sterling lockdown charge

·1-min read

LONDON (Reuters) - British sportswear retailer Frasers will book a non-cash charge that could exceed 200 million pounds ($274 million) in its 2020-21 results to account for impairment of assets during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, it said on Friday.

Restrictions to contain the pandemic have forced England's non-essential shops to remain closed since Jan. 4. They are allowed to reopen on April 12.

Frasers, previously called Sports Direct and controlled by Mike Ashley, in February forecast a potential charge of more than 100 million pounds.

The company said it expects to make material accounting impairments toassets including freehold properties, other property, plant and equipment.

"In our ongoing assessment we note the continuing government and government adviser pronouncements regarding 'third waves' and normality being 'some way off', meaning further restrictions are in our view almost certain," the group said.

While its shops have been closed Frasers has been able to serve customers online.

Shares in Frasers, up 10% this year, closed at 497 pence on Thursday, valuing the group at 2.6 billion pounds.

($1 = 0.7294 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alex Richardson and David Goodman)