BSR Group has defied the traditional February sales slump, reporting a 21 per cent total sales increase compared to the same time last year, as reported on

“It took off like a skyrocket,” said BSR Group general manager Ian Brown. 

“We were up considerably. Particularly New South Wales, which was very, very good for us and we were up considerably for the month, but the exciting part of the whole thing is not at the sacrifice of GP (gross profit). The GP’s been holding as well. So we’re quite happy.”

Brown said the result was particularly surprising, given the recent stock market and other economic movements.

“We never expected it, because of what’s been happening in relation to the stock market and so forth, we expected a bigger impact from that.”

However, Brown said the recent economic events had made future predictions difficult.

“Obviously, the impact of the last interest rate [rise] has not taken hold at this stage, so we’re just going to have to sit and see and wait out the end of this month and keep a close eye on what’s happening,” he said.

While New South Wales had done very well in sales, South Australia contributed much of the group’s larger-than-expected gross profit margin, said Brown. 

“Adelaide, in February, their GP was the highest in any state in Australia. And their volume assisted us. We only have 20 retailers in South Australia, but they went very well. What was interesting was they had a very, very respectable GP, which meant they were selling a lot of the air-conditioning-type product, which is higher GP.”

The figures were also much higher than the same time last year for SA retailers, said Brown.