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Warehouse third quarter sales up 1.4%

Friday 13th May 2011

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Retailer The Warehouse reported a 1.4% rise in third quarter sales to $381.5 million, with Easter trading better than a year earlier.

For the nine months to May 1, group sales were down 0.5% from a year earlier to $1.28 billion, The Warehouse said today.

Third quarter sales for the Red Sheds division were up 1% to $327 million, with same store sales up 2.2%. Year to date sales were down 0.9 percent to $1.13 billion.

Outgoing group chief executive Ian Morrice said the result was positive in a market that remained challenging in every respect.

As expected CDs and DVDs continued to experience double digit decline but Easter trading was up on last year and positive momentum in key growth categories had been maintained, Morrice said.

Following the February earthquake, two Red Shed stores remained closed in Christchurch, where demand had risen for household consumables, home appliances, housewares, bedding, storage and other essentials.

In the Warehouse Stationery unit third quarter sales were up 4.3% to $54.5 million, with year to date sales up 2.8% to $152.5 million. Third quarter same store sales were up 4.9%.

Key back to school sales had been ahead of last year, Morrice said.

One Warehouse Stationery store remained closed in Christchurch, while restocking by local businesses following the earthquake had been a significant contributing factor to the positive overall sales result in the quarter.

The Warehouse chairman Graham Evans said new chief executive Mark Powell had now assumed full operational responsibility for the group, while Morrice remained with the business in a consulting and project capacity.

Subject to any material change in anticipated trading conditions, the directors continued to expect adjusted net profit after tax for the full year to be between $76 million and $80 million.



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