Briscoe Group posts record fourth quarter sales

Briscoe Group has bagged yet another record sales period and forecasts that its net profit after tax for the full year will be at least $70 million.

In the 14 weeks to January 31, the homewares and sporting goods retailer made sales of $248.1m – an 18 per cent increase on the comparable fourth quarter sales period last year.

Its same store sales in the quarter increased almost 12 per cent, while online sales grew by 58 per cent. Online sales now represent just under 19 per cent of total group sales.

Sales in its Briscoes homewares business increased by 18.7 per cent to $156.2m and sales from its Rebel Sport business increased by 17.4 per cent to $91.9m.

“The group has continued to perform significantly ahead of last year through the final quarter of the year, which has resulted in group sales [for the year] surpassing $700m for the first time. That’s a fantastic milestone for the group to achieve, particularly in a year with so much upheaval and uncertainty,” Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke said in the market trading update.

Duke said the Black Friday, the imported North American flash retail sales event held in November, had “cemented itself as the most significant promotion in the retail calendar” for Briscoe Group.

During that period, it recorded its biggest sales day ever on the Friday, surpassing the previous record day by 19 per cent. Boxing Day sales were also very strong, outdoing sales achieved in the previous year.

“Gross margin has been a highlight for the group this year. The massive disruption to trading from Covid-19 has produced opportunities for us to rethink the way we analyse and construct our promotional activity and also how we process and manage the flow of inventory through the business,” Duke added.

He said, given the strong end to the financial year, Briscoe Group profit for the year would be in excess of $70 million compared to the previous year’s $62.6m.

Briscoe Group received no dividend from its investment in Kathmandu this year. The previous year’s result included $9.5m in earnings from the investment.

Chair Dame Rosanne Meo said the group was pleased with its performance this year despite the disruption it had faced through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout the disruption of Covid-19 we supported our team in full, financially as well as emotionally. There were no redundancies or permanent store closures. We were one of the first major retailers to repay the government wage subsidy and have also, just last month, paid a special dividend to our shareholders whose previous year’s final dividend was cancelled with the onset of Covid-19 in March 2020.”

A final dividend and the group’s full-year results will be announced on March 16.

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