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Super Retail and JB break profit records while Aussies just take it easy

Business

Super Retail Group and JB Hi-Fi have joined the rush of major chain stores to report massive profit growth despite lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions.

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The Brisbane-based Super Retail has forecast a profit leap of up to 200 per cent for the six months to December while JB Hi-Fi said its first half profit after tax was up 86 per cent.

It has also returned $1.7 million received in JobKeeper payments to the Federal Government.

It follows similar announcements from Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments and jewellery chain Michael Hill International and the announcement from it and JB Hi-Fi lit a fire under their shares. JB’s stock jumped as high as 8 per cent this morning, but settled back to a rise of around 3 per cent while Super Retail was up about 1 per cent.

Super Retail owns the BCF, Rebel and Super Cheap Auto which all benefited from the lockdowns and the stimulus payments made by the Federal Government.

It said online sales jumped 87 per cent to $237 million and now represent 13 per cent of total sales. Click and collect sales increased 74 per cent to $108 million and now represent 45 per cent of group sales online.

The boating camping fishing outlets under the BCF brand produced sales growth of 51 per cent, Super Cheap was up 20 per cent and Rebel 15 per cent. Macpac was the only sour note with sales falling 5 per cent because of lockdowns in key markets.

The company said demand was unprecedented and because of the stronger online performance, its margins increased 270 basis points.

Its statutory net profit range is now $170 million to $173 million, which is between 196 per cent and 201 per cent higher than the previous corresponding period and a best-ever result for the first half.

Despite the strong performance, Super Retail would not provide guidance for the second half of the year.

“With continuing uncertainty in the economic outlook and the ongoing risk of COVID-19 lockdowns impacting store trading, year to date performance should not be treated as an indicator of full-year performance,” managing director Anthony Heraghty said.

“Since our last update to the market in October, the group has continued to perform well.

“We are particularly pleased with the record online sales over the November cyber weekend and strong Christmas trading. This culminated in a record first-half performance for the group.

“Strong cash flow generation leave us well placed in the second half to reinvest in our brands to maintain our customer-value proposition, expand and reward our customer base, consolidate our market-leading positions and grow market share.”

JB Hi-Fi said sales momentum was strong for the half year as consumer demand for electronics and home appliances increased while online growth was “exceptional”.

Net profit after tax was $317 million compared with $170 million for the previous corresponding period. Online sales were up 161 per cent to $678 million.

Chief executive Richard Murray said it had been an “extraordinary period”.

 

 

 

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