SYDNEY — Australia’s largest department store chain Myer Holdings Ltd. posted Thursday its sixth consecutive year of declining full-year profits — twelve months into a turnaround strategy that has otherwise reaped some positive results.
For the year ending July 30, Myer posted a 10.6 percent slide in underlying net profit of 69.3 million Australian dollars or $52.34 million at average exchange for the period. That is in line with guidance of 66 to 72 million Australian dollars, or $50 to $54 million.
Full-year sales rose 2.9 percent to 3.3 billion Australian dollars or $2.5 billion. Excluding a week for leap year, the company said total sales were up 1.6 percent to 3.2 billion Australian dollars or $2.45 billion.
Same store sales were up 3 percent for the year, slowing to 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, after a warm start to winter.
Omnichannel sales were up 74 percent for the period, with the company reporting profit in that division is growing faster than overall sales, driven by factors such as a 117 percent rise in sales via 2,500 in-store iPads and the May introduction of Myer’s eBay store, a claimed world first virtual reality department store.
Operating gross profit margin declined by 164 basis points to 38.7 percent, due in part to a higher concession mix that has included the introduction of Topshop and Topman concessions into 20 stores and which produced a 21.8 percent lift in concession sales for the period.
The new digital and brand offers are part of the company’s five-year, 600 million Australian dollar ($428 million) turnaround strategy that was announced in September 2015.
“We still have a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction,” said the company’s new chief executive officer Richard Umbers.