Briscoe Group, the homeware and sporting goods chain, expects its annual profit to rise by at least 9 per cent after "particularly strong" Christmas sales and an overall steady fourth quarter.
Net profit will exceed $33 million in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 26 from $30.5 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. It had previously said it expected to exceed last year's earnings.
Fourth quarter sales were up 8.1 per cent on the same quarter the previous year, totalling $162.7 million. Homewares made up the majority of the group's sales, rising 7.3 per cent to $111.9 million, while sporting goods sales rose about 10 per cent to make up the remaining $50.7 million. Annual sales rose 6.8 per cent to $483.6 million, with the group's homewares' sales increasing 6.4 per cent and sporting goods sales up 7.7 per cent.
Managing director Rod Duke said performance in the final quarter had been driven by "aggressive promotional activity" and strong pre and post-Christmas sales had boosted fourth quarter profits.
The company also reported a near 100 per cent lift in online sales over the past 12 months, with "no adverse impact on in-store sales".
"We are pleased with the growth we are generating in online sales across all three trading brands and especially with the significant lifts achieved during the fourth quarter," Duke said. "There is clearly considerable potential for strong on-going growth in our online sales for the foreseeable future."
On a same store basis fourth quarter sales increased 7.2 per cent compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Fourth quarter homeware sales increased 6.2 per cent, and sporting goods sales rose 9.5 per cent ahead of the same quarter a year earlier.
Shares in the retailer were unchanged at $2.37, and have declined 5.2 per cent over the past 52 weeks.
The company expects to report its full year audited results on March 6.