Briscoe Group has reported a record full year profit after a surge of sales going into the Chirstmas shopping season.
The company operates the Briscoes, Living & Giving and Rebel Sport chains made a net profit of $63.4 million compared with $61m the year before.
Group revenue rose 4.4 percent to $631.9m, with the company’s gross margins improving slightly as it had better control of stock and improved online sales.
Managing director and majority shareholder Rod Duke said the retail environment remains tough.
“(The company) continues to contend with erratic consumer confidence and economic indicators making customers even more determined than ever to seek true value for money.”
Briscoes had capital spending of $21.6m during the year, three quarters of it going on new shops and refurbishing current stores, while it held high levels of stocks to cope with demand from two new Rebel Sports stores and on-line shopping.
Mr Duke said all the signs were that retailers will continue to feel strong headwinds.
“Economic uncertainty had certainly tested consumer confidence; increased wage pressures, erratic fuel prices and a challenging New Zealand dollar, all factors which have and will continue to impact retailers’ ability to maintain margins.”
Briscoe’s 19 percent holding in outdoor goods company Kathmandu returned a dividend of $6.4m.