Briscoe sees 9.7 percent first-half profit growth as 2Q sales keep growing

Briscoe Group, the homeware and sporting goods retail chain, anticipates 9.7 percent growth in first-half profit as second-quarter sales continued to grow across both segments and margins widen.

Net profit rose to at least $14.6 million in the six months ended July 28 from $13.3 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. That was on the strength of 6.5 percent gain in revenue to $108.8 million. On a same-store basis, sales rose 3.9 percent.

“After an extraordinarily challenging beginning to the year, with such a late start to our winter category sales, we are very pleased with the group’s performance across this second quarter,” managing director Rod Duke said. “Gross margin percentage recovered well from the first quarter lows and should finish the half year only slightly down on the rate reported for last year’s first half.”

The retail chain reported 5.9 percent sales first-quarter growth in May, though its margins were squeezed by a tough retail market and unseasonally dry and warm start to the year.

First-half sales rose 6.2 percent to $217.4 million, with a 6.2 percent lift across the homeware segment and a 6.1 percent gain in sporting goods.

The shares, of which Duke holds more than three-quarters, were unchanged at $2.30 in trading today, and have gained 5 percent this year, valuing the retailer at some $494 million.

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