By Grant Shepherd

Myer has just released its half yearly results for the period ending January 2009 and it seems the company has handled the tough economic environment effectively, with a net profit increase of 5.3 per cent to $83 million for the period.

Despite the fact that sales were down 3.7 per cent to $1.76 billion and like-for-like sales down 3.7 per cent, the company has claimed that the sales received were above expectations.

In terms of market share over the 12-month period, Myer has made gains due to increased targeted promotional activity and better in-store execution.

The fact that Myer has managed to still remain profitable in this economy is a big boost for the company, especially during the current turnaround process being undertaken.

According to the report, Myer is currently 34 months into the 50-month turnaround phase, with 101 business improvement projects already completed and refurbishments taking place across various stores, including the completion of the flagship Sydney store.
Bernie Brookes, CEO at Myer was very pleased with the results and commented “the work undertaken in the turnaround phase has given us a more flexible platform to manage the business in a difficult economic environment and we are pleased with our sales performance against this backdrop.

“Our strong cost control, variabilised cost base, quicker responses and the cemented changes in buying and ranging, combined with improved store execution and targeted advertising, have enabled us to stay ahead of the curve and deliver increased profits, despite a fall in sales.”

In terms of growth for the company, nine new leases have been signed over the past 12 months to take chains to 74 from 65, with a further six leases under negotiation. A new store is also under construction at Top Ryde in NSW.

Despite the positive news for Myer, the company is still wary of the future in these tough times. But overall they are expecting FY09 profit to be similar to the FY08 results.