Myer continues to flounder with first half results update showing another sales drop

Myer continues to flounder with first half results update showing another sales drop

Listed retailer Myer (ASX: MYR) continues to struggle in the tough retail environment during the first half of FY18.

Total sales in the first half of FY18 were down 3.6 per cent to $1.7 billion for the department store chain.

Myer chief executive officer Richard Umbers (pictured) blamed the poor performance of the retailer on Australian retail conditions.

"The significant deterioration in trading reflects ongoing challenging retail conditions with widespread industry discounting, a subdued performance of Myer's Stocktake Sale and a continued shift in consumer behaviour characterised by reduced foot traffic and an increase in online shopping," says Umbers.

Despite the Christmas period being weak for the retailer, the company says it is "comfortable with the quality of its inventory".

The group's recent push into online sales has paid off, with sale online in the first half up 48.9 per cent.

Myer anticipates profits for the first half will land between $37 million and $41 million before implementation costs and significant items.

However, the company on Friday also flagged potential impairment costs which could impact the group's profits. The group anticipates there will be a non-cast impairment charge to be taken at the first half 2018 result.

The company has also not provided a profit range for the full year results yet, and says they do not expect retail trading conditions to improve over the year.

"Myer recognises the ongoing, challenging and competitive retail conditions and remains resolutely focused on improving foot traffic and sales across all channels during the second half including the need to remain competitive in key categories where we are facing the most competition," says Umbers.

Shares in Myer are down 8.99 per cent to $0.59 per share at 11.44am AEDT.

UPDATE (5.10pm AEDT 9/2/18):

Myer shareholder Solomon Lew has called on fellow shareholders to "save the company"

Shares have dropped as much as 12 per cent on Friday, hitting a low of $0.57 per share around 3.50pm AEDT.

Lew's Premier Investments (ASX: PMV) called the Myer market update "disastrous".

"Myer is now in peril and shareholders must urgently unite to save the company and what is left of our investments," says Premier in a statement.

"Premier will caucus with other significant shareholders in order to reconstitute the entire Myer board."

Premier Investments has not been immune from today's Myer tumble, with shares trading at $13.70 per share, down 2.14 per cent at 4.10pm AEDT.

Myer is trading down 9.3 per cent to $0.58 per share at 4.10pm AEDT.

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