Briscoe Group boss Rod Duke says he doesn't know why other retailers are performing so badly, as the company posts a record profit - its eighth year in a row.

"It's inexplicable why our results for the last eight consecutive years have been at record levels. The New Zealand market has certainly not grown rapidly over the last eight years so the only thing I can put that down to is we've actually affected a market share shift from other retailers," Duke said.

"All I know is some other retailers in New Zealand are going very, very poorly but I can't tell you precisely why. I actually don't know what other retailers are doing so poorly that makes their result so bad."

Briscoe Group hit a new milestone for the year to January 28, despite a "tougher than usual" trading year.


It posted net profit after tax of $61.3 million, up 3.2 per cent from $59.42m the previous year. Annual sales topped $600m for the first time, at $603.1m, with same-store sales up 3.11 per cent and online up 35 per cent.

Duke said the year had been tougher than usual, affected by a number of outside influences.

"It was a tough year but we still managed to do record sales and record profitability," he said.

"We had fires in Christchurch in February, major floods in April and a relatively late start to winter across the country, with warmer summers in Auckland and central North Island during the key periods, intense colds and heavy snow in many parts of the country in July and then the Lions tour that came about and sucked all of the discretionary spending."

Craigs Investment Partners senior research analyst Mohandeep Singh said Briscoe Group's result was good but the growth rate of its revenue and profitability was down from previous years.

"Revenue has grown at its slowest rate in four years and profit the slowest in five years," Singh said. "It's a record result and it is still very good but I think the fact rates in growth are much slower than we've seen in the past from this business goes to show the competitive environment we are seeing in retail at the moment."

Briscoe Group's share price had dropped from $4.45 at the start of 2017 to $3.20 but had worked its way back up, Singh said.

"The fall has really been to do with online competition with the likes of Amazon, which has weighed on the sector as a whole," he said.


"In the last six years of revenue growth it averaged a over 5 per cent annually and in the last six years its profit growth averaged just over 14 per cent annually - both pretty astonishing numbers for a retail business."

Duke put the retailer's success down to stocking "good quality brands" and selling stock at "very, very good prices".

Rebel Sport is owned by Briscoe Group. Photo / Lewis Gardener
Rebel Sport is owned by Briscoe Group. Photo / Lewis Gardener

"We here at Briscoes and Rebel Sport try to sell famous brand-named product of a high quality and try and sell it a real, real good price. Looking after customers and having the right merchandise at the right time - just doing basic things."

Duke said Briscoe's online business was "screaming" with growth of 35 per cent this year and 40 per cent the previous year.

The trading year ahead would not be easy, but the retailer would continue to operate how it currently does, Duke said.

The retailer has a 19.8 per cent share holding in Kathmandu and received a dividend of $5.2m reported in its posted profit.

"Briscoes' Board remained an interested observer of Kathmandu's performance and of potential opportunities in the industry more broadly".

It paid an annual dividend of 19c per share, up from 18c the previous year.