By Aimee Chanthadavong

Joining Kathmandu’s positive outlook is Super Retail Group, which has forecasted approximately a 62 per cent rise in its first-half profit.

Managing director Peter Birtles told Retailbiz that a combination of store openings and increased margin sales were the drivers for this boost.

“We’ve opened a number of new stores across the group with 23 stores in the first half of the year. We’ve also had like-for-like sales across our core business as well as strong improvement in the gross margin, which has been driven by product development and supply chain efficiency,” he said.

The group, which comprises of Supercheap Auto, BCF, Goldcross Cycles and Ray’s Outdoors, said it expects its net profit after tax for the 26 weeks to 1 January 2011 will be between $24.5 and $25 million. This is up for $15.5 million for the same period in the previous year.

“We feel that if we continue to new products in our stores that we think our customers will be excited about, then they’re going to spend the money,” Birtles said.

He also noted that the company performed well during the Christmas period.

“It was steady pre-Christmas while post-Christmas it was very strong. I think that’s been a trend over the past few years where pre-Christmas we haven’t seen a lot of growth because more people are deferring their spending post-Christmas. It’s because more people are giving gift cards and they are redeeming it after Christmas.”
The company is scheduled to release further details on the half year result and outlook for the full year on 23 February.