Dunedin-based retailer Arthur Barnett has posted a full year net profit of $984,000 after tax, up nearly 94 per cent on the previous year.

The result compared with last year's profit of $508,000 for the year to August. No dividend would be paid.

Total operating revenue fell 3.2 percent on the previous year to $28.8 million, which the company attributed to the sale of its Balclutha store.

But the result was boosted by a 5.5 percent drop in operating expenses and a 17.8 percent falloff in depreciation costs. Profit before interest, depreciation and tax rose 7.5 percent to $5.7 million.

The company, which is under a takeover offer and celebrating its centennial, said its five-year old Meridian shopping centre continued to grow in all areas including centre turnover and foot traffic.

In August the company received a takeover notice from Belwalsh Holdings L td, which represents Arthur Barnett directors Trevor Scott and Julian Smith.

The pair have a 63 percent stake in the company and are offering shareholders $1.40 per share for the rest of the shares. The company last traded at $1.32.

To date Belwalsh has received acceptances totalling approximately 84 percent of the shares on issue.

Arthur Barnett is also under investigation from the Securities Commission over a 14 percent rise in share price, days before it was revealed that the board expected to receive an attractive takeover price.

Shareholders were advised that a proposal to change the accounting policy to treat Meridian as an investment property in the group financial statements had not occurred.

The reported audited group profit was therefore about $611,000 lower than a draft unaudited profit disclosed in an independent advisors report circulated in September, due to depreciation.

Centennial celebrations were under way to mark the opening of Arthur Barnett's first store in March 1903, the company said.

- NZPA