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Briscoe Group Full Year Profit

Briscoe Group Full Year Profit for Year Ending 31 January 2006

The directors of Briscoe Group Limited are pleased to announce an audited net profit after tax (NPAT) of $25.22 million for the year ending 31 January 2006. The result is 34.7% higher than the $18.73 million for the previous year.

The directors have resolved to pay a final dividend of 4.50 cents per share (cps). The dividend is fully imputed and, when added to the interim payment of 3.00 cps, brings the total dividend for the year to 7.50 cps. This is consistent with Briscoe Group’s policy of paying at least 60% of the Group’s tax paid earnings as dividends.

The final dividend will be paid on 5 May 2006. The share register will close to determine entitlements to the dividend at 5 pm on 14 April 2006.

The earnings were generated on operating revenue of $346.41 million, up 8.1% on the $320.58 million reported in the previous year.

The Group’s gross profit increased 14.2% from $106.22 million to $121.31 million for the year, equating to a gross profit margin of 35.3% compared to 33.4% for the 2004-05 year.

Earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) rose 29.0% from $27.34 million for 2004-05 to $35.26 million for the 2005-06 year.

Solid sales performance, considerable improvement in gross profit margin and continued focus on inventory control and marketing strategy, have all contributed to the significantly improved result in comparison to the previous year.

Group Managing Director, Rod Duke, said “This year has brought to fruition many of the strategic improvements we put in place during the previous year. We’ve kept our resolve in relation to the number of, and depth of discounting for, sale events. We have also continued to focus on improving product selection and reinforcing the strength of the Group’s brands through an aggressive store opening programme and sponsorship of Rebel Sport Super 12/14 rugby.”

The opening of Briscoes Homeware stores in Ashburton, Te Rapa (Hamilton), Lyall Bay (Wellington) and Wairau Park (Auckland), increased the total floor space of Briscoes Homeware by 12.2% to 77,058 square metres. Rebel Sport’s floor space increased by 2.8% to 42,116 square metres with the relocation of the Hamilton store and also the opening of a new store in Gisborne.

On a same-store basis, sales growth for the year was 3.35% for the Group. Briscoes Homeware and Rebel Sport returned same store sales growth of 1.71% and 6.49% respectively.

During the year $9.53 million of capital investment was made in the strategic purchase of property in Napier, the fit-out of four new Briscoes Homeware stores, one new Rebel Sport store and the relocated Rebel Sport store, and the refurbishment of the Briscoes Homeware store at Hornby (Christchurch).

Inventories totaled $52.09 million at year-end, being a $4.74 million increase on last year. This reflects the opening of five new stores throughout the year and continues to reflect the ongoing priority inventory control has within the business.

Cash and bank balances as at 31 January 2006 were $49.88 million, up from $45.34 million at 31 January 2005.

Net cash inflows from operating activities were $29.33 million, $2.36 million below last year’s $31.69 million reflecting the impact of four new stores opened during the last quarter of the financial year.

Net cash outflows from investing activities were $1.98 million above that of last year, largely as a result of the sale of the Nelson property being included in the previous year’s total.

The results are for the period from 1 February 2005 to 31 January 2006.

In order to align financial management systems with other internal processes, the Group will in future report to the NZX for thirteen week quarters instead of on a month-end quarter basis and will produce half yearly and annual financial statements with week-end (rather than month-end) balance dates. For the 2006-07 year, the year-end balance date will be 28 January 2007.

Rod Duke said, “Despite the general view of a slowing retail environment we are positive about, and looking forward to, the ensuing year. Like-for-like sales have started very positively for both chains. Stock levels and gross margins are in excellent condition, and there is considerable operational and marketing focus to build further on this year’s achievements.

On behalf of the Board I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution from all the team and thank them for the fantastic effort over the past 12 months in achieving this result.”

ENDS

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