3 Nov 2020

Strong sales reported by Briscoe Group, up year on year

12:46 pm on 3 November 2020

The Briscoe Group has reported strong sales for the past three months - the pent up demand post lockdown appearing to carry the retailer through to the end of the year.

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Photo: RNZ

The retail chain's year-to-date sales were up 2.35 percent on the same period last year, with third quarter sales up 15 percent to $161.3 million.

However, the company has signalled the strength of its full year profit all comes down to the final quarter.

Managing director Rod Duke said paying back the $11.5m dollar wage subsidy, as well as not receiving a payout from Kathmandu - of which it is a shareholder - would take a toll.

"Last year Briscoe Group received $6.8 million in dividends from our investment in Kathmandu. However, notwithstanding this, I am optimistic that if the current trading momentum continues, we can still produce a full-year result to the end of January of which we can be extremely proud."

He said online sales continued to grow and for the third quarter, which ended 25 October, online represented 16.3 pct of total Group sales.

"The massive disruption to trading from Covid-19 has produced opportunities for us to rethink the way we construct our promotional activity, and also how we process and manage the flow of inventory through the business. This is having a very positive impact on gross profit margin."

Briscoe Group owns the Briscoes Homeware, Living & Giving and Rebel Sport brands.

In September the company reported a $28m half-year profit, as sales rebounded after the lockdowns, resulting in steady revenue, and an increased dividend.

It announced shortly after it would repay the subsidy.

The Group's chair Dame Rosanne Meo thanked shareholders for their support, saying they had worn the financial brunt of Covid-19.

"They missed $28 million through the cancellation of our dividend payment back in March, when the national lockdown was first announced. Although it was pleasing to be able to reinstate dividend payments at the half-year they are still one significant payment down."

"It is a credit to the team led by Rod [Duke] that we have come through this crisis so strongly. The energy and success of the team in continuing with new developments and initiatives during this extraordinary period has far exceeded the Board's expectations."

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