The number of Liberty stores, at the end of 2019 were down 8 percent from the 2,791 operating during last year’s tax season.
The reports were filed as the Franchise Group as it issued a transition report for its annual results. The parent company, once also known as Liberty Tax, has changed its year ended from April 30 to the Saturday closest to December one each year. Results cover May 1 through December 29 last year
This change reflects the increasing importance of retail operations purchased by the group last year. These include Buddy’s Home Furnishings, Sears Outlet and Vitamin Shoppe. The. April 30 close reflected the importance of tax year to the company before the acquisitions.
The transition year does not include results for the 2019 tax season so operations reported for Liberty were slight for the nine months with a loss of $71.6 million, compared to a loss of $43.1 million for the period of May 1 through December 29, 2018. Recent revenue was slightly less than $15 million, down 10 percent from $16.6 million for the comparable period in 2018.
The biggest element in the increased loss was an impairment expense of $20.2 million primarily related to an impairment charge for internally developed software that is no longer in use.