Briscoe Group coped with a margin squeeze in the latest financial year to deliver a record profit as sales growth continued to underpin earnings.
Source: 1 NEWS
Net profit rose to $61.3 million, or 27.3 cents per share, in the 52 weeks ended January 28, from $59.4 million, or 26.5 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said.
Sales rose 3.5 per cent to $603.1m, offsetting a contraction in gross margin to 40.49 per cent from 41.07 per cent a year earlier.
The company's profit "was a very satisfactory result in what had been a highly challenging year," managing director Rod Duke said.
"The small decrease in gross profit margin was a function of the intense competition across the retail sector and other competing claims on consumers' discretionary spending."
Briscoe signalled another record profit when announcing fourth-quarter sales last month, bolstered by strong revenue gains from its Rebel Sport sporting goods stores.
The board declared a final dividend of 11.5 cents per share, payable on March 29 with a March 26 record date. That takes the annual payment to 19 cents, up from 18 cents per share a year earlier.
The shares, of which Duke owns about 78 per cent, rose 0.3 per cent to $3.68, having increased 6.4 per cent so far this year.
Briscoe recognised an $18.8m gain in the value of equity securities, although that wasn't included in the net profit, and received a $5.2m dividend from its 19.8 per cent stake in Kathmandu Holdings, which reports next week. The outdoor equipment chain's shares rose 3.1 per cent.
Mr Duke said Briscoe's board is "an interested observer of Kathmandu's performance and of potential opportunities in the industry more broadly".