Super Retail Group is off to a strong start for the first year reporting a 74 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $60.6 million. Meanwhile, the company’s EBIT rose 62 per cent to $99.8 million.

More specifically, auto retailing sales increased by 8 per cent to $400.2 million, leisure retailing sales grew by 14.9 per cent to $283.9 million and sports retailing division’s sales were $352.4 million with like for like sales increasing by 8.3 per cent

Super Retail group managing director Peter Birtles said the results were attributable to the group’s position in a variety of leisure related retail categories and its continued commitment to introducing new products, improving store presentation, supply chain and inventory management and engaging team members.

“The sales and margin performance in each of the Supercheap Auto, BCF, Rebel and Amart businesses has continued to be very pleasing and the Rays Outdoors business has delivered a strong improvement when compared to the prior comparative period,” he said.

“We have experienced very pleasing like for like sales growth in our FCO Fishing Camping Outdoors business and early signs from the Goldcross Cycles store within a store trial are positive but both these businesses continue to incur losses with additional costs incurred in restructuring the Cycles business.”

“Gross margin performance across the Group has continued to be strong but this benefit has
been partly offset by an increase in the cost of doing business due to increased investment in customer service in store, and the development of multi-channel capabilities; the rollout of smaller format stores and increases in occupancy related expenses.”

Looking ahead, the second half of the year has already started well for the group, according to Birtles with strong sales growth and continued momentum.

“We continue to expect to deliver improvements in full year EBIT margin in our Auto and Leisure divisions and to deliver full year EBIT margin in our Rebel and Amart businesses ahead of our acquisition assumptions,” he said.

“We expect to complete our review of the Ray’s Outdoors and FCO businesses and the Cycles store within a store trial by May of this year.

“We also plan to continue to grow and strengthen our store network, opening one and closing one Auto store, opening five and closing two Leisure stores and opening five and closing three Sports stores during the second half.”