Briscoe Group has reported slower profit growth and warns margins will continue to be tested by flagging consumer confidence, rising costs and a lower dollar.
The company, which owns retail brands Rebel Sport and Bricoe homewares, made a net profit of $29.3 million in the six months ending July, up 2.7 percent on last year’s $28.6m.
Revenue, which includes a $1.7m dividend from its near 19 percent stake in retailer Kathmandu, rose 4.3 percent to $293.2m, with same store sales up nearly 2.5 percent.
Briscoe managing director Rod Duke said online sales were approaching 9 percent of total group sales.
“We are excited with our initiative to replace our online platform this year and we are progressing well to have this completed by the end of our financial year,” he said, adding that the investment would improve functionality and the customer experience.
On a same store basis, homeware sales increased by 2.3 percent, while sporting goods sales increased by 2.8 percent.
“The economic outlook for the second half remains uncertain with flagging consumer confidence, increased industrial action, record-high fuel costs, increased wage pressures and a lower New Zealand dollar, all factors which will test retailers’ ability to maintain margins,” Mr Duke said.
“We are obviously addressing any additional costs as they arise, including any employee entitlements and provisioning appropriately.
“Despite these challenges we are confident that we have the right programmes in place to continue to maintain market share and to deliver the quality products, service and shopping experience to ensure improved bottom line profit and returns to shareholders.”