Briscoe boosts 1Q sales 6.5%, braces for tough second-half comparison
Briscoe Group, the homeware and sporting goods retailer, posted a 6.5 percent gain in first-quarter sales while warning that full-year revenue may be flat compared to 2011, when the Rugby World Cup boosted turnover in the second half.
Sales at the retailer, whose brands include the Briscoe, Rebel Sport and Living and Giving, rose to $102.5 million in the three months ended April 29, from $96.3 million a year earlier.
Homeware revenue rose 5.7 percent to $66.1 million, and sporting goods sales climbed 7.8 percent to $36.4 million. The company is trying to bolster its annual result with a strong first-half showing to make up for the impact of a spike in sales last year when the Rugby World Cup bolstered demand for its sporting goods.
"A strong sales and margin performance has enabled group profit to track ahead of last year," managing director Rod Duke said in a statement. "This is important in relation to our full-year profit given the very strong second half posted by the group last year on the back of the Rugby World Cup.”
In March, Duke, who owns 78 percent of the company, said he expects the retailer will improve its market position this year, though the environment will remain "difficult and volatile."
Briscoe boosted annual profit 27 percent to $27.5 million in the 2011 financial year, lifting sales and reining in costs. Its gross profit margin slipped to 39.52 percent last year from 39.77 percent.
The company said the first-quarter gross margin was slightly ahead of the same period a year earlier. It didn’t give figures. The shares fell 1.3 percent to $1.53 in trading yesterday, and have gained 15 percent this year.
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