DIY helps Mitre 10 lift

IN STORE: Mitre 10 chief executive Neil Cowie says hardware sales were strong in Auckland and Canterbury in the June ...

IN STORE: Mitre 10 chief executive Neil Cowie says hardware sales were strong in Auckland and Canterbury in the June 2014 year.

Mitre 10, the co-operative for the country's largest hardware chain, has posted a profit of $1.42 million, a turnaround from last year's $2.9m loss.

The co-operative's financial statements show profit for the year to June 2014 was earned from sales of $675m, up 14 per cent on the previous year's $591.4m.

These sales are to its members who buy product from the co-operative. The member stores cracked $1 billion sales in the year to June, coming in at $1.043b, 10.2 per cent higher than the previous year's $944m.

Big rival Bunnings' sales in New Zealand hit $813m in the June 2014 year, up 15 per cent from the previous year's $707m, its financial statements show.

Bunnings made a profit of $5.85m from the sales and had a staff wages and salary bill of $103m.

Mitre 10 co-operative chief executive Neil Cowie said the comparable numbers were Mitre 10's $1.043b and Bunnings $813m.

The co-operative provided services to its members including advertising, marketing, administration and negotiation of product supply.

"Our intention is not to make a profit. Our members are the ones to make a profit. Our role is to ensure members remain profitable."

Most of its profit for the June 2014 year was distributed as a dividend to its member shareholders. The statements show the co-operative declared a dividend of $1.358m, slightly lower than the year before's $1.36m. The co-operative wrote down its stores' property, plant and equipment by $4.73m in the June year "as a result of weaker than expected performance of some of its stores".

Cowie said Canterbury trade was very good in 2014 as was Auckland's.

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The chain has 83 stores around the country including 38 Mitre 10 Mega stores.

"We've had good lifts across all categories as well as across the country," Cowie said.

"There would certainly be peaks and obviously Canterbury is strong as is Auckland.

"DIY is alive and well and people are re-investing in their homes."

Mitre 10 planned three new stores for the 2015 calender year. One had been approved in Queenstown.

Cowie said the market was incredibly competitive. Key rivals include Bunnings, Placemakers, ITM, Carters and The Warehouse.

The Mitre 10 stores had to keep innovative and meeting customer expectations to stay ahead, he said.

 - The Press

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