Retail franchisor BSR Group has increased in sales for the financial year ending 31 March 2012.

With financial results set to be announced, early indicators show that sales have increased around 2-3 per cent, with some stores performing well above that level.

BSR Group CEO CEO Graeme Cunningham said the group’s Betta Electrical brand had performed well despite the ongoing economic slowdown in the retail sector..

“The group has remained debt free and we will be declaring another dividend for shareholders as we have done for the past six years,” he says.

“Profitability remains at similar levels to previous years but we’ve had an increase in revenue income. This has been a result of improved conditions for the group, increased marketing activity, cost efficiencies and focusing on a number of more profitable categories.”

The group’s Betta Electrical brand is in the process of relaunching as Betta Home Living. Cunningham said rebranding had already occurred in several stores such as Toowoomba with 30 more currently underway.

“The rebranding includes new livery and in time will also include an expansion into new categories such as homewares and furniture,” he said.

“The Betta Home Living rollout is happening at the moment and new signage is now underway across 30 stores – an initiative which is largely being funded by BSR and which is a significant investment for the company.

“All stores will be upgraded within the next 12 to 18 months. Operating under the Betta Home Living name gives us scope to expand into other categories in an ever-changing market and ensure we continue to drive growth.”

A number of ex-Retravision stores have also joined BSR Group as part of the rebrand including the new Betta Home Living stores at Gympie, Virginia and Keperra.

Cunningham attributed BSR’s growth over the past financial year to its refusal to place too much reliance on categories which “suffered from price erosion” such as audio visual.

“Technology categories continue to be affected by falling average selling prices, but our real strength has never been in those categories so that in itself has helped our result,” he said.

“Also contributing to our growth has been the move to online retailing, success with our commercial division and our expansion into social media, which saw our successful launch on Facebook in the last two weeks. These measures have benefited all stores.”

Betta’s move to online retailing had been particularly successful.