The Warehouse Group says it continues to reap the rewards of its transformation programme as first-quarter sales improved by 4 per cent from a year ago to $694.8 million.

The latest result follows sales growth of 3.6 per cent for the same quarter last year.

Noel Leeming has continued its strong performance, with a 7.3 per cent revenue increase to $225m for the three months ended October 27 and a 6.1 per cent increase in same-store sales.

Warehouse Group chief executive Nick Grayston said this was helped by the Rugby World Cup. The tournament was streamed online this year by Spark meaning consumers had to work out their technology options.


The group's flagship red sheds had a 3.1 per cent increase in same-store sales to $368.9m. Grayston said gross profit is looking better in this business compared with last year.

Warehouse Stationery sales rose to $63m, a 0.6 per cent increase in same-store sales. Grayston says the division is benefitting where the brand is integrated with a Warehouse store.

Sales at outdoor specialist Torpedo7 declined by 0.6 per cent on a same-store basis. It opened two stores during the quarter, lifting sales by 3 per cent to $38.1m.

Total online sales were $54.5m, an increase of 9.3 per cent on the year prior, and representing 7.8 per cent of total group sales. This figure excludes its new online platform, TheMarket.

The retailer says the quarter is usually the smallest for sales, ahead of the firm's critical second quarter which includes Christmas and the back-to-school period. The company will give guidance after the end of the first half.

Appointed in 2015, Grayston has been tasked with reviving slowing growth at the retailer, including a focus on everyday low pricing instead of discounting.

Shares in the company last traded at $2.80 and are up 36.6 per cent so far this year.