8 Mar 2013

Strong profit reported by The Warehouse

8:50 pm on 8 March 2013

The Warehouse on Friday reported a strong half-year profit due to strong sales.

Profit for New Zealand's largest listed retailer more than doubled to $106.3 million in the six months to January, compared with the same period a year ago.

Stripping out one-off items, profit rose 13% to $53 million.

The Warehouse said its strategy continues to deliver strong sales and earnings growth. Sales at stores open for more than a year were up 2.1%.

The company said key growth areas were consumer electronics, health and beauty, and summer categories like gardening.

Group sales rose 18% to $1.1 billion, including $129 million from Noel Leeming, which was bought in December last year.

The company is forecasting a higher full-year underlying profit of between $73 million and $76 million, up from $65 million last year.

Chief executive Mark Powell said the merger of Bond & Bond into Noel Leemings, resulting in the closure of 12 stores, will result in almost no job losses as staff will be offered jobs at Noel Leemings stores or elsewhere within the group.

The Warehouse is also increasing its interim dividend by two cents to 15.5 cents.

Shares in the retailer closed 6% higher on Friday.