New stores and refurbishments, along with an impressive online growth rate of 80% during FY15 were to thank for Myer’s 1.7% increase in total sales to $3.2 billion. The ‘click and collect’ business grew by 183% and sales on iPads in stores reached $20 million in the first 11 months, according to a company statement on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Total sales were up 1.1% on a comparable store sales basis. The department store has now delivered comparable store sales growth in 12 of the last 13 quarters. However, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were down 16.7% to $133.5 million, while net profit after tax (NPAT) was down 21.3% at $77.5 million.

There was continued growth in Cosmetics, Childrenswear and Entertainment, offset by a poor performance in Womenswear. During Christmas 2014, the rollout of Giftorium, representing dedicated gifting space in all stores, was well received by customers.

New stores at Mt Gravatt (QLD) and Joondalup (WA) generated growth. During the year, two stores were closed in NSW, at Hurstville in January 2015 and Top Ryde in July 2015. However, there was a strong customer response to refurbishments at Adelaide City, Macquarie, Miranda and Indooroopilly.

The Digital Hub trial was successfully launched at Parramatta in Q4 FY15.

FY16 Outlook

Under the New Myer strategy and assuming no further deterioration in trading conditions, Myer anticipates that FY16 will represent a transitional year with significant investments with rewards to be realised in late FY16 and thereafter. Following FY16, Myer expects to return to sustainable profit growth.

This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer