11 Sep 2009

Warehouse annual profit down 15%

11:30 am on 11 September 2009

The Warehouse has reported a fall in profit as consumers reined in their spending.

The largest listed retailer in New Zealand made a profit of $76.8 million in the year to the beginning of August - a decrease of 15% on the previous year.

Excluding the cost of closing its fledgling grocery and alcohol business, underlying profits rose 5% to $85.2 million.

Sales fell 1% to $1.7 billion due to the recession and forced the retailer to focus on cutting costs and reducing stock.

However, sales improved in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter which was up 2.3%.

Chief executive Ian Morrice says the company has been able to weather recessionary pressures better than most.

He says specialist retailers have been hit hard by the recession.

Mr Morrice also says consumers are more attuned to sales, rather than trading down as in previous recessions.