Myer Bounces Despite Dismal Result
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Myer was whacked by the big autumnal dry that wrecked its winter sales hopes in the three months to the end of April. But investors didn’t bother with the detail and hoisted the shares 16% higher to 43.5 cents.
The retailer told the ASX yesterday that it saw another slide in both topline and same store sales for the quarter.
And the gunshy retailer has decided that the quarterly sales update is now such a wearisome task that it will stop providing updates on this basis. No explanation was made in yesterday’s statement.
Total sales fell 2.7% to $635 million in the 13 weeks to April 28, while same-store sales fell 3.1% in the three months ending April.
The latest decline in sales followed a 3.6% fall in same-store sales in the all-important January quarter and a 2% fall in the year-ago period.
Total sales for the year to date are down 3.4% to $2.35 billion, and down 3% in on a same store basis, which removes the impact of opening and closing stores.
The weak January performance saw then CEO Richard Umbers forced out.
Online sales continued to show strength in the third quarter, growing 49% to $36 million. They now account for about 5.5% of total sales. They were also up 49% to more than $141 million in the nine months to April 28.
“In February, we announced a renewed focus on product, price and customer service, which delivered encouraging results during March,” Myer's executive chairman Garry Hounsell said in a statement.
"However, as reported by a number of other retailers, the unseasonably warm start to winter has impacted sales, particularly in winter apparel, shoes and accessories, which may impact profit in the fourth quarter."
Mr Hounsell also said yesterday that Myer’s incoming chief executive John King had been granted his visa and would commence work on June 4. "John has already visited many stores, talked to team members and customers and understands the significant task at hand in turning around the business,” Mr Hounsell said.
Citi put out a glowing note. Is that why shareholders boosted the shares? Still 43.5 cents is a long, long way from where they were a year ago - 95 cents (and Solomon Lew was already losing money on his 10.1% stake picked up for around $1.14 a share.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.