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1st Quarter Sales to 30 April 2004

1st Quarter Sales to 30 April 2004

The directors of Briscoe Group Limited announce that unaudited sales for the three months ended 30 April 2004 were $67.3 million, being 1.90% lower than the $68.6 million reported for the same quarter of last year.

After adjusting for new stores opened since April 2003, on a same store basis the Group’s sales for the quarter were 8.90% behind the first quarter for last year.

While sales were lower, the gross margin generated for the first quarter is significantly ahead of the gross margin for the first quarter of last year.

The improved margin performance reflects strategic steps previously announced to redefine the positioning of the Briscoes Homeware and Rebel Sport brands by balancing its “price” message with those of quality, recognised brands and value, and to reduce the Group’s dependence on regular low price sales.

Briscoes Homeware sales for the quarter decreased by 2.73% to $45.2 million while Rebel Sport sales decreased by 0.14% to $22.0 million. On a same store basis, Briscoes Homeware sales decreased by 4.74% for the quarter while Rebel Sport sales were 17.86% behind last year.

Rod Duke, Group Managing Director, said “the disappointing sales performance is primarily a reflection of the markets within which Briscoes Homeware and Rebel Sport stores have been operating, but it also reflects the change in strategy which we always expected to impact negatively on short term sales. The gross margin percentage improvement from the strategy change had certainly been better, and had occurred faster, than we anticipated, however the under performance in sales has impacted on the first quarter profit in comparison to last year and it is unlikely that all of the shortfall will be made up during the second quarter.”

A new Rebel Sport store in Rotorua was opened at the end of April, bringing the number of Rebel Sport stores to 18 and increasing the total Rebel Sport floor area to 37,174sq.m. Briscoes Homeware store numbers remained unchanged at 30 although the Rotorua store was relocated to new premises during April, increasing the total floor area for Briscoes Homeware to 60,613sq.m.

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