New Zealand based retail group Briscoe posted a record full-year profit, increasing its online sales by more than 40 percent, despite the challenging retail landscape.
Kiwi retail and sporting goods group Briscoes lifted its annual profit by 26 percent to $59.4 million in the 52 weeks ending 29th January 2017, a 26.6 percent increase on the $47.14 million it posted the previous year.
“We are pleased to announce another record profit for Briscoe Group in a market that has been challenging for many retailers,” said the company’s chief executive Rod Duke.
“The focus we place on managing and improving our retail brands underpins our strong profit growth of recent years as we continually drive to improve the way we do things in every area of the business.”
One of the Group’s financial report highlights includes its sizeable gain in online sales growth, with an over 40 percent increase accounting for 6 percent of its total sales for the year, which the company says it expects to continue into the future.
“Our online business saw strong sales growth during the year and process reviews across all service areas has resulted in improved order picking accuracy, reduced backorders, quicker picking speed and faster dispatch times delivering a better service experience for our growing number of online customers,” said Duke. “Online sales growth was in excess of 40% and accounted for over 6% of Group sales for the year with strong growth anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.”
“Online growth has continued at pace and we will support further growth by continuing to streamline all processes and by trailing the effectiveness of ‘click and collect’ later in the year. Our merchandise, operations and marketing teams will continue to focus on the protection of gross profit margin percentage while driving sales growth across all categories and across all stores. Inventory is in good shape as we start the new financial year and the team are excited about the initiatives we have planned to improve sales and profitability. We are confident that we will continue to strengthen our position as New Zealand’s leading retailer of homeware and sporting goods.”
Briscoes says it remains committed to continual improvement of the overall shopping experience, including improved product availability both online and offline, which remains a key focus for all teams across the business.
“During the second half of the year we improved our analytical ability to obtain enhanced insights by store around this key performance metric. These insights are assisting both store and support teams to better understand the size of the opportunities for improvement. Trials are planned to test enhanced stock management processes which will drive better product availability for customers and increase sales,” it said in a statement.
Briscoes widened its gross margin to 41.07 percent for its 2016/17 full year results, up from 40.49 percent the previous year, attributing the gain to positive changes in its inventory and promotion management.
“The relatively late start to summer and unsettled weather patterns in most parts of the country made the selling of seasonal products a little tougher, but by identifying the issues quickly and holding our nerve, we have sold through seasonal stocks at an acceptable rate, protecting both margin and our closing inventory position,” said Duke in a company statement.
Earnings before interest and taxation increased 21.07 percent from $65.94 million for 2015/16 to $79.83 million for the 2016/17 year. The profit result includes dividends received of $4.41 million from the Group’s 19.9 percent shareholding in Kathmandu Holdings Limited. “We continue to monitor Kathmandu’s performance closely as they seek to restore historical levels of profitability,” said Duke.