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Briscoe Q2 sales hurt by homeware

Friday 6th August 2010

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Briscoe Group said a decline in homeware sales dented revenue in the second quarter though the retailer is on track for earnings growth in the first half.

Sales fell 1.9% to $93.3 million in the three months ended August 1, led by a 3.6% decline in homeware goods, the company said in a statement today.

Sales at Rebel Sport rose 2.2%. On a same-store basis, total sales were down 2% from a year ago.

The retailer expects half-year earnings before interest and tax to be 30% ahead of last year, though a one-off cost from the government’s tax changes will keep net profit flat at $6.5 million.

“Pressure on sales intensified during this second quarter and gross margin percent, as for the first quarter, is slightly below that achieved for the second quarter last year,” said managing director Rod Duke.

“Sales and gross profit will be up on last year and costs have been well-managed during this first six months.”

Briscoe chairman Rosanne Meo told shareholders in May the retailer is keen to expand into new geographical areas, as well as grow its existing businesses and is keeping its eyes open acquisition opportunities.

The shares were unchanged at $1.20 and have dropped 4% this year.

Retailers have been doing it tough over the past couple of years as the worst recession in 18 years, combined with a crackdown on easy credit, sapped consumers’ ability to spend and encouraged households to pay down debt.

The environment forced companies to compete on price and Duke said this tightening affected Briscoe’s sales for the quarter.

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