Retailer Briscoe Group has once again posted a record full-year profit - for the ninth consecutive year in a row.
The company which owns Briscoes, Rebel Sport and Living and Giving posted a net profit after tax of $63.39 million for the year ended January 27, a 3.4 per cent increase on the $61.3m posted in the previous year.
Briscoe managing director Rod Duke said the company was pleased to have clocked another record profit in a challenging market.
"A challenging retail market which continues to contend with erratic consumer confidence and economic indicators [is] making customers even more determined than ever to seek true value for money," Duke said.
Sales revenue for the year lifted 4.4 per cent to $631m and same-store sales growth was up 3.7 per cent.
The retail company made $21.6m in capital investment throughout the year, $16.11m of which went on obtaining property in Auckland and Silverdale.
The group opened two Rebel Sport stores during the year, and Duke noted the company acquired more inventory following increased demand for online shopping.
"Economic uncertainty had certainly tested consumer confidence; increased wage pressures, erratic fuel prices and a challenging New Zealand dollar, all factors which have and will continue to impact retailers' ability to maintain margins," he said.
Duke said the group's online business continued to produce excellent sales growth - up 27 per cent on the previous year.
The group is set to launch a new online platform later this year.
Looking ahead, Duke said the group would continue to invest in its online capabilities and open more stores.
"Leveraging customer data and our own knowledge and experience, provides a rich platform for us to deliver an outstanding shopping experience."
Group chair Dame Rosanne Meo said the results showed customers continued to value quality and reasonable pricing.
Carolyn Holmes, head of equity research at ShareClarity, said the result was inline with what the market expected but warned the next 12 months would be tough.
"The next 12 to 18 months are going to be more challenging in the retail space for discretionary retailers. The other big thing retailers have to worry about is the weakness in the New Zealand dollar relative to the US because they import the majority of their product in US dollars," Holmes said.
The weak New Zealand dollar would mean higher import costs for retailers, she said.
"In a difficult retail market and where there is competition you can't push through those price increases and gross profit margins will come under pressure.
"All discretionary retailers in New Zealand are going to feel under the pump this year, and probably even next year, than they have in the last few years."
The full year result includes dividends received of $6.40 million from the Group's 18.9 per cent shareholding in Kathmandu Holdings.
Briscoe shares, of which Duke owns more than three-quarters, last traded at $3.39, down from a high of $3.70 recorded around a year ago.
A final dividend of 12 cents per share will be paid on March 29.