Booktopia raises capital to complete fulfilment centre

Booktopia's policy is to avoid pulling products wherever possible.

Pureplay books retailer Booktopia has raised $8.1 million in capital raising to fund the completion of its Next Gen customer fulfilment centre and enhance its capital position.

The raise comprises a $6.5 million two-tranche placement – which is subject to the board’s discretion – and a $1.6 million debt-to-equity conversion, subject to shareholder approval. The loan facility ($5 million) was secured from AFSG Asset Management.

Booktopia chairman Peter George said: “After two years of losses, completing the Next Gen CFC and with the other business improvement initiatives already announced will reset the cost base of the business.

“The raise will enable BKG to complete the Next Gen CFC by late August this year. With the benefits of these initiatives, we expect a return to EBITDA growth from the next financial year.”

In a trading update, the retailer said “challenging” trading conditions were observed throughout the second half of the financial year compounded by increased labour costs and other disruptions associated with the transition to the CFC.

“Looking ahead to FY24, with the annualising benefits of the initiatives previously announced, and the realisation of the operating efficiencies and increased capacities of the Next Gen CFC, BKG forecasts an underlying EBITDA profit of $13.5 million,” the business said in a statement.

For this financial year, the business expects an unaudited underlying loss of about $5 million.

Meanwhile, the company has advised that the short-term consultancy agreement between BKG and Tachyon Ventures, an entity associated with founder and former CEO Tony Nash, will end on August 31.

Nash will reman a non-executive director of Booktopia.

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