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Higher sales boost Briscoe's forecast

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 11:25 01/02/2013
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Briscoe Group expects to report at least a nine per cent jump in annual net profit to more than $30 million, after sales rose more than three per cent to $452.7m.

The homeware and sporting goods retailer said fourth quarter sales reached $150.5m, up 3 per cent year-on-year.

While same-store sales for the full year were up 2.59 per cent, like for like sales for the fourth quarter rose a more modest 0.73 per cent.

Managing director Rod Duke said the group was "reasonably pleased with our sales, margins and overall performance for the final quarter of the year. Competition was fierce across most retail sectors but customers responded favourably to our marketing initiatives."

The group's larger homeware division - which includes Briscoes and Living and Giving stores - grew sales more than Rebel Sport stores over the year, boosting same-store sales by 3.63 per cent compared to a 0.49 per cent lift for Rebel.

But Rebel was coming off a high base, with sales the previous year significantly boosted by the Rugby World Cup.

Duke said the performance of Rebel Sport was a highlight given the extremely high comparative numbers it was up against.

"For Rebel Sport to post positive same store sales, increased gross profit margin and increased bottom line profit for the year is an achievement we are very proud of."

Sporting goods sales saw a bigger percentage increase than homeware goods sales in the fourth quarter, with same store sales up 2.14 per cent compared to 0.12 per cent. Duke said trading had been particularly strong immediately before and after Christmas. "We were especially pleased with the significant lift in sales achieved by our online stores across all three trading brands for December."

The group will report its audited full year result next month.

Shares in Briscoe Group last traded at $2.50 on the NZX.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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