Sluggish sales prompt Myer to close doors

 

Myer says it will close a further three stores as it struggles to turn around sluggish sales amid weak consumer spending and growing industry competition.

The department store giant said it will not renew leases at Colonnades in South Australia, Belconnen in the ACT, and Hornsby in Sydney's north, as it announced a 1.9 per cent drop in underlying profit to $67.9 million and a 2.67 per cent fall in total sales to $3.2 billion for the year.

The retailer's statutory net profit for the 52 weeks to July 29 of $11.94 million, was down 80.3 per cent on the previous 53-week year, hit by $13.9 million in costs and significant items of $42.1 million.

Sales were impacted by the earlier closure of three Myer stores, Brookside in Brisbane and Orange and Wollongong in NSW, the write-off in the value of its 20 per cent stake in Topshop's Australian franchisee and the impairment in the value of its struggling sass & bide brand.

Myer added that since the launch of its turnaround strategy New Myer in September 2015, it had closed or announced the closure of 74,670 square metres of store space overall.

Performance of sass & bide had been below expectations during the period, with full-year sales $10.9 million below the prior year.

"While every effort is being made to improve the performance of the business, the company has recognised an impairment charge of $38.8 million against the carrying value of the business," Myer said on Thursday.

The retailer said it sales will continue to be negatively impacted by new entrants to the market, existing competitors, changes to consumer demographics and increased online competition.

It said it will remain focused on a more innovative and experiential retail offerings, including services, food and new clearance floors to mitigate the risks.

"The company has strong foundations from which to build and we look forward to continuing to shift the business towards a more effective, innovative and experiential retail model, which is engaging and relevant to our customers," Myer said.

MYER'S SLUGGISH RESULTS AT A GLANCE:

* Underlying Net profit down 1,9pct to $67.9m

* Statutory net profit down 80.3pct to $11.94m

* Total sales down 2.67 per cent to $3.2b

* Fully franked final dividend of two cps, down 1 cps, taking the full-year payout to 5 cps, unchanged.