By Wares February 14, 2018 Industry news

A round-up of Kiwi retailer numbers, starting with the latest results. The jury is still out on Christmas 2017 but it’s already clear Yule has not been cool for everyone…

Is JB Hi-Fi making headway in NZ?

On 12 February, JB Hi-Fi released a mixed bag of numbers for its half year (H1) to the end of December.

Key amongst the numbers are a 41% increase in overall top line to AU$151.7 million, thanks to the addition of The Good Guys, and 21% added to its total NPAT.

In terms of the New Zealand arm, sales were again marginally negative (–0.4%) at NZ$124.6 million. NZ comparables though were +2.4%, with Q2 comps +8.7%, but its NZ EBIT was literally nil.

The closure of a single NZ store cost the top line NZ$4.6 million, while exiting whitegoods and rebranding the four JB Hi-Fi HOME stores to JB Hi-Fi attracted one-off costs of NZ$400,000.

One positive is that, following the launch of the new website in August 2017, NZ online sales were +89.8% at NZ$4.8 million or 3.8% of total sales.

JB Hi-Fi fared better in Australia where the top line was +10.8% at just under AU$2.5 billion, with comparable sales +7.8% and online sales of AU $119.3 million (+40.6%) which is almost 5% of total sales.

On to The Good Guys, whose sales for the half were AU$1.1 billion with comparable sales +1.8%. Online sales were AU$72.7 million (–1.7%) or 6.6% of total sales.

Updating the market at the same time on its January 2018 numbers, JB Hi-Fi overall was +6.9% in total sales with comps +4.5%, both slower growing than the previous equivalent period.

News from The Good Guys however was less positive, with total January sales –3.5% and comparables –4.7%.

OK last quarter for Briscoes

Briscoe Group’s early February update for the year to the end of January adds some perspective to the above numbers.

Although Black Friday and Boxing Day were the biggest sales days ever for the Homeware segment, for November to January (Q4), Homeware sales were up, but not massively so, at $124.8 million (+1.3%) while Q4 same store sales decreased slightly (–0.29%).

For the full year (unaudited), homeware sales were +3% at $383.8 million while same store sales were +2.7%.

Overall, for the year, the unaudited figures have Briscoe Group passing $600 million in annual sales for the first time (+3.5%) with a new high NPAT and GP dollars but a lower GP percentage than last year.

Many rivers still to cross for Smiths City

In the last six months, Smiths City became a truly national retailer, refurbishing and rebranding the last of Furniture City stores in Auckland to the new Smiths City “live better” livery.

However the group’s half year financial statements for the six months to end October, released at the end of January, still show there is some way to go before the retailer is over the hump of its strategy.

The gains from the new store in Hastings, the reimaged Auckland stores and a strong performance from the Finance segment “have not been sufficient to offset the impact of trading disruptions associated with store refurbishments and closures and the continuation of tough trading conditions.”

Hence revenue for the half was –4.6% on last year at $108.7 million and same store sales at $102.9 million were –5% on same period last year.

CEO, Roy Campbell, says by way of an outlook: “We expect no immediate changes to the current trading environment and therefore sales and margin pressure is expected to continue.

"Nevertheless, we are cautiously optimistic about our prospects for the remainder of the financial year.”

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