At the company’s AGM on Thursday, Accent Group told investors that it now expects its EBITDA for H1 FY19 to be 15 to 20 percent higher than last year.
According to an ASX announcement, Accent Group, which owns popular brands like The Athlete’s Foot, Platypus and Vans is expecting to see 15 to 20 percent growth in its H1 FY19 EBITDA, when compared to the same period in FY18.
The retail group has attributed this growth in revenue to an 88 percent growth in performance from its online channels, as well as its continued corporate stores’ acquisition program.
“We are delighted with the results achieved for the first 20 weeks of FY19,” said Accent Group’s CEO, Daniel Agostinelli. “Based on the strong results achieved to date in H1, and if like-for-like sales continue to track at low single-digit growth, EBITDA for H1 is now expected to be higher than the year prior.”
Agostinelli says this increased outlook is a result of a 2.5 percent increase in like-for-like sales in the first 20 weeks of trade, which is on track for meeting Accent Group’s expectations as it continues to focus on removing discount-driven activity from its core promotional efforts. Another key factor in the business’s expected growth is its plans to open 40 new stores in Fy19, 10 more than was originally planned. Accent Group also says that the stores that have already opened in this financial year are currently trading above expectations.
Stronger gross margins, and efforts to buy back more franchise The Athlete’s Foot stores is also reportedly a key growth driver, with 39 stores now under corporate ownership and a further 11 slated to be bought back by the end of FY19.
“Whilst we still have a significant proportion of the H1 and annual EBITDA to achieve in the key Christmas and back-to-school periods through December and January, our operational plans are well set for this trading period,” Agostinelli said.
Looking towards the end of FY19, the investment group’s CEO has confirmed that the group’s outlook for H2 FY19 has not changed.
“In H1, margin improvement has been a key driver of the increased profit guidance. In H2, we do not expect the same margin impact as we will be cycling through an already improved margin for the second half of the prior year,” Agostinelli explained.