Super Retail Group is up in arms after announcing a 46.1 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $55.6 million for the 52 weeks to 2 July 2011.

According to the company, the 2010/11 financial year was 52 week period compared to the 53 week period in the pervious year, with the extra week contributing an additional $18 million in sales and $800,000 in profit after tax to the prior year’s results.

The company’s managing director Peter Birtles says the positive results reflect the strength of the company’s business model in a time where there is a widespread slowdown in retail spending.

"New stores, solid like for like sales growth and a strong improvement in gross margins are the major drivers of these results. They have been delivered through a continued focus on new product introduction, sourcing and supply chain initiatives and the further development of business capabilities," he said.

"These results have been achieved through a combination of the continued strong performance of the Supercheap Auto and BCF Boating Camping Fishing businesses and the full year contribution of Ray's Outdoors."

Its auto and cycle retailing division sales were at $708.2 million, 3.4 per cent higher than the prior period with EBIT at 63.6 million and 32 per cent higher than the prior comparative period.

This positive result was reflective of Supercheap Auto which saw sales growth of 4.8 per cent as it focuses on new product introduction, store refurbishments and improving merchandising standards. But this division’s results were slightly held back by Goldcross Cycles, which represents 2 per cent of the Group's sales, where it continued to fall below expectations.

In the meantime, its leisure retailing division consisting of Ray’s Outdoors and BCF Boating Camping Fishing performed well with sales at $384.1 million and EBIT at $32 million, both 50 per cent higher than the prior comparative period.

Birtles said that the group will continue its expansion with plans to open five new stores, covert two stores to Superstores and refurbish another 30 stores in its Supercheap Auto business and to open 20 to 25 stores across the Leisure Retailing division.

"We will continue to invest in developing our multichannel and customer relationship management capabilities. We plan to be able to offer our customers options to order on-line with either pick up in store or home delivery and we expect to launch a loyalty scheme in the Supercheap Auto business in the coming year,” he said.

“We will also continue to explore opportunities to extend our retail operations into adjacent retail categories through either acquisition or organic development.”