The Warehouse Group, the country's largest listed retailer,
provided some "reasonable numbers" for the three months ended
October 28 but very little detail, Craigs Investment Partners
broker Chris Timms said yesterday.
The Warehouse Group lifted first-quarter sales 1.9% with its
Blue Shed stationery stores leading growth as its Red Sheds
reported a flat result.
Group sales rose to $377.3 million in the quarter from $370.4
million in the same period a year earlier, the Auckland-based
company said in a statement. Sales at its Red Shed stores
were up by 0.8% to $325.7 million and were flat on a
same-store basis, while the stationery outlets' revenue
climbed 9.1% to $51.6 million.
Blue Sheds sales rose 3.7% on a same-store basis.
Mr Timms said no information about profit margins was
included and those margins were crucial to understand how
well the company was trading.
"Same-store sales are up but we need to look at the numbers
behind those sales."
Online sales had increased 138% from a low base but those
sales had started to become meaningful, Mr Timms said.
The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell said that while
same-store sales in September and October were lower than the
prior corresponding months, largely due to the Rugby World
Cup, The Warehouse sales' performance in August was strong
and the group was set up very well to enter the important
"I am confident that our decision to remove some of our home
appliance and whiteware products from sale, while having a
short-term impact, is clear evidence of The Warehouse putting
the customer first, which will benefit overall brand
perception in the long-term," Mr Powell said.
In September, the retailer reported a 14% drop in full-year
earnings to $65.2 million, in line with guidance, and flagged
mixed trading conditions for the 2013 year.
Mr Timms said no guidance was provided in the quarterly
announcement although the group had previously indicated the
2013 financial year would be improved from 2012.
Chairman Graham Evans said the quarter was a mixed one, but
the board still backed the company's strategy will deliver
value to shareholders.