Briscoe Group has beat its full-year forecast and increased its profit to $47.1 million in the year ending January 31, up almost 20 percent from $39.3 million the previous year. The company credited its success to inventory management and new technology that manages stock.
It had previously forecast $46.5 million for its 15/16 profit. The gross profit margin for the year increased to 40.49 percent.
Its sales revenue was $552.89 million, an increase of nine percent from the previous year.
When adjusted on a same-store basis and an additional week’s trading, sales grew just over five percent.
Briscoe Group credited the profit to a focus on inventory management, new technology to manage stock, refining the quality and scope of its product ranges and fine tuning its promotions.
Managing director Rod Duke said the company was very proud of its performance, given the challenging and competitive environment of retail.
“It is clear that the New Zealand retailing environment remains challenging with a number of retailers struggling for growth, but we remain cautiously optimistic about the year ahead for Briscoe Group.”
In the homewares division, sales grew 6.2 percent to $357.9 million.
Briscoes stores’ total store area increased to 100,085 metres from 95,787 square metres, thanks to the addition of a new store in Queenstown, an extension to its Invercargill store and a relocation to bigger premises of its stores in Taupo and Hamilton.
In its sportings goods unit, Rebel Sport, sales grew 15 percent to $195 million. Total store area increased from 53,993 to 56,394 square metres after new stores opened in Hornby, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Duke said presenting new, innovative ranges to customers is a key part of Briscoe Group’s strategy.
“…the merchandise team has continued to look for opportunities to surprise and delight our customers. We are acutely aware of the gradual fragmentation of media and have continued to develop the mix of media we employ to reach and connect with our customer base.”
Briscoe Group’s online sales made up 4.5 percent of its total sales throughout the year.
It said it expected growth in this area in the foreseeable future.
As for bricks and mortar, there are plans this year to extend Briscoes Homeware store in Taranaki St, Wellington.
Duke said it was important for retailers to focus on protecting their gross margins this year, as the imported cost of overseas goods rises as a result of the NZD weakening against the USD.
“It is inevitable that importers’ margins will be adversely affected over time as foreign exchange cover taken at higher levels matures.”
Briscoe Group’s cash and bank balances stood at $17.55 million, down from $89.69 million the year previous. The deduction was a result of Briscoe Group buying shares in outdoor retailer Kathmandu.
Briscoe shares rose 0.6 percent to $3.16. They have gained 9.4 percent this year.