Ware­house first­quar­ter sales rise 3.6% to $668.3m

Otago Daily Times - - BUSINESS & MONEY -

AUCKLAND: Ware­house Group says it is en­cour­aged by a 3.6% in­crease in first­quar­ter sales and im­proved mar­gins at its core Ware­house chain and sta­tionery out­lets.

The com­pany said the rise in group sales to $668.3 mil­lion was par­tic­u­larly en­cour­ag­ing given sales in the first­quar­ter last year fell 1.7%.

The big­gest im­prove­ment within the group was at Noel Leem­ing, where sales rose $14.5 mil­lion, or 7.4%, to $209.6 mil­lion. They rose 3.2% on a same­store ba­sis.

Sales at the Red Sheds in­creased $7.2 mil­lion to $360.1 mil­lion, up 2% or 2.7% on a same­store ba­sis.

Vol­umes of prod­uct sold in­creased 2%, the rest of the growth due to higher av­er­age sell­ing prices, the com­pany said.

‘‘There has been some good early de­mand for some of the spring sea­sonal cat­e­gories such as out­door fur­ni­ture. Our gross mar­gin per­cent­age im­proved slightly com­pared to Q1 last year,’’ the com­pany said.

‘‘The over­all mar­ket re­mains very com­pet­i­tive for both gen­eral mer­chan­dise and ap­parel. We are fo­cused on con­tin­u­ing to im­prove our gross mar­gin and main­tain­ing the pos­i­tive mo­men­tum in sales as we go into our largest sales quar­ter with Christ­mas and sum­mer sea­sonal prod­ucts.’’

The quar­terly re­sult will be heart­en­ing for the com­pany, which re­ported a 13% de­cline in profit from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions for the year to July. It also wrote $25.6 mil­lion off the value of the five­year­old Tor­pedo7 busi­ness in what it called a pe­riod of ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant change’’.

Tor­pedo7 sales for the quar­ter fell 5.6% to $37 mil­lion and were down 2.7% on a same­store ba­sis.

The com­pany said the de­cline re­flected clo­sures dur­ing the past year, in­clud­ing the sale of its Shot­gun brand and the clo­sure of the Num­ber 1 Fit­ness web­site as a sep­a­rate fit­ness equip­ment chan­nel.

Sales from the con­tin­u­ing busi­ness were up 14.1%, driven by new out­lets opened dur­ing the quar­ter in Palmer­ston North, Te Rapa, Manukau and New Ply­mouth.

Ware­house said it was con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on im­prov­ing the gross mar­gins within Blue Shed sta­tionery chain.

Sales there in­creased 4.4% to $61.7 mil­lion and were up 4.1% on a same­store ba­sis. The com­pany noted trad­ing a year ear­lier was dis­rupted by in­te­gra­tion projects be­tween the red and blue chains.

Ware­house said Noel Leem­ing ben­e­fited from con­tin­ued fo­cus on ‘‘pas­sion­ate ex­perts’’ and end­to­end ser­vice in the

its ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive ap­pli­ances and tech­nol­ogy mar­ket.

Key ar­eas of growth in­cluded com­mu­ni­ca­tions, wire­less au­dio and com­puter ac­ces­sories cat­e­gories. Dur­ing the quar­ter, Noel Leem­ing ac­quired the as­sets of the Ap­pli­ance Shed, in­clud­ing leased stores in Auckland. Three of those have been con­verted into ad­di­tional clear­ance stores for Noel Leem­ing.

On­line sales across the group rose 5.3% to $49.3 mil­lion, and now ac­count for 7.4% of group sales. Ex­clud­ing Tor­pedo7, quar­terly on­line sales were 27% higher. — Busi­nessDesk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.