Super Retail Group shares supercharged on sales growth

Super Retail Group shares supercharged on sales growth

Super Retail Group (ASX: SUL) rolled out its new large-format store concept for rebel known as rCX in 2022, including  'physical experience zones' such as half-court basketball and indoor football pitches.

Super Retail Group (ASX: SUL) shares surged almost 10 per cent this morning, adding an extra $241 million to the Brisbane-based company's market capitalisation after reporting super-charged sales growth for the December half to reach almost $2 billion in revenue.

The retailer saw double-digit sales growth for its brands Supercheap Auto (18 per cent), rebel (13 per cent) and Macpac (55 per cent) as it capitalised on peak sales periods in November and December.

SUL's third-largest brand BCF was in single-digit sales growth territory of 7 per cent, although like-for-like sales were down slightly.

"I am pleased to report that the group has delivered an outstanding first half result," said group managing director and CEO Anthony Heraghty.

"All four core brands traded strongly over the peak cyber sales and Christmas holiday trading period as customers embraced the festive season, contributing to a record first half sales performance," he said.

"Effective and targeted promotions and a disciplined approach to cost management has ensured that this top-line growth has translated into strong first half earnings."

SUL is forecasting a profit before tax (PBT) of between $212 million and $218 million in the first half, which is at least a third higher than the December half in 2021 although just shy of the $246.8 million in the same half in 2020.

The group has also been managing its stock more effectively with $30 million less inventory at the end of 2022, its 50th anniversary year from when the business was founded as an automotive parts mail-out company in the home of current non-executive director Reg Rowe and his late wife Hazel.

After expanding its footprint by 21 stores to 716 across Australia and New Zealand in the 12 months prior to its annual general meeting (AGM) in October, the group has planned a total of 30 new store openings in the current financial year including the new BCF superstore that was launched in Townsville in November.

BCF brought in an expected $447 million in sales in the last six months of 2022, well ahead of Macpac which stood at $101 million but behind rebel ($682 million) and Supercheap Auto ($728 million). Of these brands, Macpac has the highest minimum expected PBT margin at 14.8 per cent, only marginally ahead of Supercheap Auto.

The face of the group's sports brand rebel has also changed somewhat due to the roll-out of large-format stores called rCX, including 'physical experience zones' such as half-court basketball and indoor football pitches.

"This unique format is attracting co-investment from leading global sports brands, including Nike, Adidas and Under Armour and giving us access to exclusive products," Heraghty said at the group's AGM in October.

Including the flagship store for this layout which is in Adelaide's Rundle Mall, rebel has 11 rCX stores across its network and five were planned for opening in the current financial year.

It is also expected that chair Sally Pitkin will not be putting her name forward for re-election as a director when her current three-year term ends in 2024.

In FY22 the company reported a 3 per cent increase in sales to $3.55 billion, although the digital sales uptick was much higher at 44 per cent. At $600 million for that period, digital sales had tripled on FY19 with click and collect accounting for more than half the category. 

 

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