Briscoe lifts 1H profit, dividend, forecasts gain in annual earnings
Sept. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Briscoe Group, the homeware and sports goods retailer, posted a 29 percent gain in first-half profit and forecast an improved full-year result, saying it has widened margins and lifted sales in the face of subdued consumer confidence.
Profit rose to $13.3 million in the 12 months ended July 29, from $10.3 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 5.5 percent to $204.7 million while same-store sales climbed 6.8 percent.
The improved results came across both homewares and its Rebel Sport outlets and overall, the company’s gross margin widened to 40.73 percent from 39.97 percent. Sales from homewares climbed 5.5 percent to $137 million, lifting earnings before interest and tax to $12.3 million from $9.7 million. Sporting goods sales rose 5.5 percent to $.67.5 million, lifting ebit to $4.5 million from $3.2 million.
The improved margin reflects “a strong buying and inventory management performance and effective marketing,” managing director Rod Duke said.
“While the economic outlook remains uncertain, we are cautiously optimistic about group performance as we move into the second half of this year,” he said. “The group is well placed to better last year’s full-year reported profit of $27.53 million.”
The retailer will pay a first-half dividend of 4 cents a share, up from 3.5 cents in the same period a year earlier.
On a same-store basis, sales of homewares rose 7.9 percent, while sporting goods rose 4.6 percent.
Inventory levels were $64 million at July 29, just above the $63 million level a year earlier, the company said.
Shares of Briscoe were unchanged at $1.96.