SUPER RETAIL BOOSTS PROFIT DESPITE CAUTIOUS CONSUMERS

SUPER RETAIL BOOSTS PROFIT DESPITE CAUTIOUS CONSUMERS

CONSUMERS are still spending on leisure goods, despite tightening household budgets, says Super Retail Group(ASX:SUL) boss Peter Birtles (pictured).

SUL increased net profit after tax 23 per cent to $102.7 million for the year to June 29 it announced today.

Group sales made a similar 22 per cent increase to $2.02 billion, while earnings before interest and tax were up the same amount to $172.3 million.

SUL has achieved a 13 per cent increase in earnings per share to 52.3 cents, but despite the strong result, the company’s shares were down 3.71 per cent to $12.47 this afternoon.

The company says contribution from the recently-acquired Rebel and Amart Sports businesses has exceeded the acquisition business case, while multi-channel development programs are progressing in line with plan.

Managing director and CEO Birtles says the business has achieved strong like-for-like sales growth in each of its divisions despite the slowdown in retail spending.

“Our focus on retailing products that our customers predominantly use as part of their leisure experiences has served us well. We believe our customers will continue to spend money on their passions even when they tighten their belt in other areas,” he says in a statement.

A review of the Ray’s Outdoors, FCO Fishing Camping Outdoors and Goldcross Cycles businesses resulted in non-recurring restructuring costs of $16.2 million.

The group invested about $53 million in capital expenditure over the year and $4.1 million in operating expenses on these programs.

The group expects to continue delivering like-for-like sales growth in the coming year despite the continuing tough retail conditions.

There are 25 new stores opening across the group and construction is underway at two new distribution centres at Brendale in Queensland and Erskine Park in New South Wales.

“We have made a strong start to the new financial year with like for like growth in group sales of circa six per cent in the first seven weeks of the year,” he says.

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