10 Mar 2011

Briscoe Group expects trading to remain volatile

12:01 pm on 10 March 2011

Briscoe Group expects conditions in the retail sector to remain volatile this year, as consumers watch their spending and competition intensifies.

The company, which runs the Briscoes, Living and Giving and Rebel Sport chains, made $21.6 million in the year to January - almost 3% more than in the previous year.

Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke says the group had to contend with some extraordinary events during the year - including the rise in the goods and services tax (GST) and the Canterbury earthquake in September, but still managed to boost underlying profit by almost 15%.

Mr Duke says the group's first large-format Briscoes store in the Auckland suburb of Panmure - which has much more floor space and a larger range than its traditional stores - is trading particularly well.

The group is looking to open four or five more large-format stores in major centres in the coming year.

However, Mr Duke says it is taking a wait-and-see approach to Christchurch following February's damaging earthquake. Costs incurred and profits lost due to the quake will be covered by insurance.

Shares in Briscoe Group rose almost 3%, up 4 cents to $1.40 on Tuesday.