16 Sep 2013

Warehouse Group looking to buy more businesses

6:59 am on 16 September 2013

The Warehouse Group is looking to buy more businesses to buy in its bid to become the number one multichannel retailer in New Zealand.

The company also wants to reinvent itself as the TW Group so its new enterprises are not immediately associated with The Warehouse brand.

The group bought Noel Leemings and Torpedo 7 last year, and has just launched I Love Beauty, an online beauty store.

Chief executive Mark Powell said the company does not have any more deals on the table yet, but any new purchase will have to fit with its strategy of becoming the biggest multichannel retailer.

He said it has got to be an area where the group can add value and where it can be number one or two in New Zealand.

Mr Powell said it has to be a strategic purchase in the way that Noel Leeming was.

The company will consider a variety of options to fund new purchases but is reluctant to increase debt levels.

Mr Powell said the company is proud of The Warehouse brand but it now wants to be known as the TW Group.

He said The Warehouse creates a set of expectations, but brands such as Noel Leemings need to have distinct personalities which is why the name change is necessary.

The retailer increased its annual after tax profit by 61% to $145 million in the 12 months to 28 July. It can't give any earnings guidance for the current year until after the Christmas trading season, but is confident that profits will be higher.

However, The Warehouse chairman Graham Evans said money spent over the next few years to grow the business will eat into profits in the short term.