Briscoe Group has set the standard for the range of New
Zealand-listed retailers who will report their financial
results in the next few weeks.
The group, which runs the Briscoes Homewares and Rebel Sports
brands in New Zealand, reported an operating profit of $85.16
million for the six months ending July 28, up nearly 5% on
the previous corresponding period.
Importantly for investors, the interim dividend was increased
12.5% to 4.5c per share from 4cps last year.
Sales were up 6.2% in the period to $217.4 million,
same-store sales growth was up 3.7%, and reported profit was
up 12.4% to $14.9 million.
The gross margin percentage decreased slightly to 39.18% from
39.68%, reflecting an extraordinarily challenging beginning
to the year as a result of the late start to the winter
category sales, managing director Rod Duke said yesterday.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said the market
reacted well to the profit announcement, pushing Briscoe
shares up 2c on the day.
''This is a credible result in the current environment. We
have been wondering about the margins being affected by the
warmer winter weather.''
The Warehouse reported on September 13 and Hallenstein
Glassons reported on September 26. Both of those were likely
to have taken a hit from the warmer winter, he said.
The Rebel Sport clothing sales seemed to have held up.
''This bodes well for the sector. It has been a hard few
years for these guys,'' Mr Timms said.
Mr Duke said the number of stores remained unchanged at 80 in
the first half of the year but in October, a new Briscoes
Homeware store would be opened in Kerikeri.
The group completed counter alignment projects in four
homeware and eight Rebel Sport stores this year and all those
During the second half of the year, there would be
significant change to the layouts in the Dunedin and
Invercargill Rebel Sport stores, he said.
The group's online business continued to grow and during the
first half of the year, the focus was on improving product
availability as well as improving the delivery time.
Inventory levels at balance date were $69.16 million, $4.56
million higher than the previous period, to accommodate
increased online sales, Mr Duke said.
''We look forward to a continued improvement in customer
confidence and spend levels during the second half of the
year and are cautiously optimistic about the group's
performance on the back of improving economic indicators.''