Postie Plus trading down 2.9pc

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 13:51 07/12/2012

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National clothing retailer Postie Plus Group has ended the first quarter of the financial year trading 2.9 per cent below year-ago levels, the group told shareholders at its annual meeting in Christchurch today.

The group's flagship brand Postie was trading 1.4 per cent lower than last year and school uniform brand Schooltex 17 per cent lower than the same quarter last year.

Apparel retailing continued to be a difficult sector in which to achieve growth, chief executive Ron Boskell said.

Also, a shift to a new Auckland-based distrbution and warehousing company had not gone smoothly, resulting in delays in delivering stock to stores and customers in the schools market.

The group was now in talks with its logistics supplier about compensation. The problems have since been resolved and re-stocking was running on schedule.

The last financial year had been one of ''repositioning'' for the group.

Postie Plus announced in May it would move its head office from Christchurch to Auckland, citing difficulty in recruiting staff in Christchurch and a desire to be closer to a growing Auckland market. That shift should be completed by early next year.

Boskell announced in August he would resign at the end of January next year.

Former international business buyer for Pumpkin Patch Jane Gammon was appointed general manager of the Postie brand earlier this year.

The group reported a loss of $183,000 for the year to August 5 compared with a net profit of $656,000 for the previous year, due to restructuring costs.

Those costs relate to the sale of its lower-margin infant gear Babycity brand in May, and moving its marketing and distribution centres to Auckland.

The company reported a ''normalised'' full year net profit of $493,000 before the one-off restructuring costs. 
Shareholders will receive a fully imputed dividend of one cent a share on December 14.

Postie Plus Group shares were last trading at about 22 cents a share. The stock has traded between 32 and 19 cents a share during the last year.

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- The Press

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