Super Retail Group has announced that it’s off to a good start as it reports sales for auto and cycle division is up 6 per cent and its leisure division is up 50 per cent.

The group is the owner of Super Cheap Auto, BCF Boating Camping and Fishing, Goldcross Cycles, Ray’s Outdoor and the newly acquired Rebel Group.

Peter Birtles, group managing director and CEO, said the company continues to concentrate on differentiating itself from competitors with a large focus on multi-channelling and expanding its product range.

“Much has been written about the impact of the internet on retailing in Australia and whilst there are undoubtedly some threats, we believe that there are greater opportunities through developing multichannel capabilities,” he said.

“Customer research highlights a clear preference to buy from online sites of businesses that also have a physical store presence. However, customers will increasingly expect to be able to access information and to buy from a retailer’s website whenever and however they choose. This requires the development of the necessary IT and supply chain systems so we have established a full time project team to build these capabilities over the next three years.”

Looking at its Supercheap Auto business, it reported strong like-for-like sales of 4.8 per cent.

“The business has continued to focus on new product introductions, with 20 per cent of the product range renewed during the year, and in delivering further improvement in-store stock presence and merchandising standards,” Birtles said.

Similarly, positive results were reported by its BCF Boating Camping Fishing business of like-for-like sales growth in existing stores of 4.6 per cent.

And while, performance by Goldcross Cycles and Ray’s Outdoors fell below expectations, Birtles reaffirmed that the company remains positive and is making “good progress” in turning the current results around.

But according to Birtles, the company’s main focus for the coming year will be the integration of Rebel Group.

“A key for the business will be to establish a plan for driving like-for-like sales. This will require a review of the ranging and marketing strategies, engaging team members and trade partners and a program of store refurbishments which will commence in 2012,” he said.