Myer claws back into the black but sales still down

Myer claws back into the black but sales still down

In a rare bit of positive news for Australian retail giant Myer (ASX: MYR) the company has reported a reasonably positive first half for FY19.

Though total sales at the department store were down 2.8 per cent in 1H19, the company recorded a NPAT of $41.3 million (up 3.1 per cent from 1H18).

Statutory NPAT during the half was $38.4 million, compared to the disastrous $476.2 million loss in 1H18.

The company even saw improvements with its online offering, with its new website launched in September promising an improved customer experience.

Myer's online business delivered significant growth during the Black Friday period especially with online orders up 151 per cent, traffic up 98 per cent, and over $10 million of sales during the four-day sale period.

Chief executive officer and managing director John King says the results show that his turnaround plans are working.

"This result demonstrates the positive customer response to a number of initiatives from our Customer First Plan, particularly during the all-important Christmas and Myer sale periods," says King.

"There is a strong focus across the entire business on reducing costs that do not directly benefit the customer or enhance their experience in-store or online. We have put in place a more streamlined and accountable structure in the Support Office which is delivering positive results and we have identified numerous other cost saving opportunities across the business which may be material in future years."

While sales were down during the half, they did improve slightly on the first quarter's sales results which the company attributes to its enhanced online offering, a better execution of its Christmas sales, and improved marketing.

Going forward the company will continue to pursue its 'Customer First Plan' which appears to be paying off.

More Myer exclusive brands are joining the department store including Selected Femme, Selected Homme, Twisted Tailor, Acqua di Parma, Girls on Film, and Jack London.

The company has foreshadowed another dip in sales to come in the future thanks to the exit of brands from the store.

Shares in Myer are up 14.63 per cent to $0.47 per share at 10.40am AEDT.

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