Briscoe lifts dividend

Briscoes in Dunedin. Photo: ODT
Briscoes in Dunedin. Photo: ODT
Briscoe Group raised its interim dividend for an 11th straight year as the retailer remains confident it can keep boosting profit and shareholder returns, despite flagging consumer confidence.

The board declared an interim dividend of 8c per share to be paid on October 11, up from 7.5c a year earlier. That amounts to $17.7million of the company's $29.3million 2019 first-half net profit, which rose 2.7% from a year earlier.

Briscoe paid $40.7million, or 19c per share, of dividends in the 2018 financial year compared to just $11.7million, or 5.5c, in 2009.

Over that same period, annual profit has climbed to $61.3million from what was a trough of $11.6million in the wake of the global financial crisis and the last domestic recession.

The shares hit a low of 60c in March 2009, and were recently at $3.48, representing a dividend yield of 7.5%.

The retailer had already indicated profit would be up in the half on a 4.3% increase in sales to $292.2million.

An economic survey yesterday showed consumer confidence at a six-year low, although official gross domestic product data released yesterday showed household consumption grew 3.9% in the year to June 30.

Briscoe typically burns through cash in the first half, stocking up inventory for the end of year sales and paying a bigger final dividend.

Operating cash inflow grew to $7.6million, while capital investment more than doubled to $15.1million.

That partly reflected the company's participation in Kathmandu Holdings' recent equity raising. The retailer held cash and equivalents of $46.2.million at the balance date.

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