Super Retail Group shares have rallied after the company reported a 26 per cent jump in annual profit, driven by strong customer demand for its sporting, outdoor and auto products, with the solid momentum continuing in the new financial year.
The company – which owns Rebel, Supercheap Auto, BCF and recently acquired Macpac – on Tuesday booked a net profit of $128.3 million for the year to June 30, up from $101.8 million a year earlier.
The result was also boosted by earnings of $7.8 million from New Zealand outdoor apparel and equipment retailer Macpac, which it acquired for $135 million in February.
Super Retail also revealed it had underpaid some former and current staff over the past eight years and booked a provision about $7.9 million to cover the cost of repayment of overtime and allowances, with a further $2.7 milloin provision for interest and on-costs.
Group-wide, Super Retail’s revenue rose 4.2 per to $2.57 billion, while underlying profit after tax rose seven per cent to $145.3 million.
Chief executive Peter Birtles said the group has delivered a record result after strengthening its operations with the merger of Rebel and Amart Sport, plus the Macpac acquisition, which was subsequently merged with its Rays outdoor chain.
Super Retail also introduced new learning and recognition programs for staff, which improved customer service, he said.
“Growing our share of customer spending in our markets is a key priority as the retail industry evolves with the impacts of new competitors and of technology.
“We aim to incrementally grow our share of customer spending in stores while significantly increasing our share of customer spending in digital channels,” Mr Birtles said.
Annual like-for-like sales, which excludes new stores, rose 3.6 per cent at its auto retail division and increased two per cent at its sports retail business.
Super Retail said its new financial year has kicked off with a “solid start”, with each business delivering like-for-like sales growth in the first six weeks to August 11.
Like-for-like sales over the six week period were up seven per cent at Macpac and up five per cent at Supercheap Auto.
Rebel and BCF both reported a three per cent rise in like-for-like sales.
At 1504 AEST, Super Retail shares were up 79 cents, or 8.7 per cent, to $9.90, in a weaker Australian share market.
SUPER RETAIL PROFIT JUMPS
*Net profit rose 26pct to $128.3m
*Revenue rose 4.2pct to $2.57b
*Final dividend up 10pct to 27.5c a share