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The Warehouse posts ‘record’ first half profit

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The Warehouse Group has posted a $55 million profit in the 26 weeks to January 31.

The retailer, which operates The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7 and TheMarket.com, increased its net profit after tax in the period by 83.6 per cent, from $29.1m in the same period a year earlier.

Total group sales increased by 7.4 per cent to $1.8 billion in the first half of the 2021 financial year, while online sales grew 50 per cent now accounting for almost 12 per cent of all sales.

The retail group announced it would pay out an interim dividend of 13 cents per share, in addition to the special dividend of 5 cents per share declared in February.

The Warehouse sales increased by 3 per cent to $967.3m in the period, while Warehouse Stationery sales increased 2.1 per cent to $136.6m.

Consumer electronics brand Noel Leeming recorded another record first half result, with sales up 15.7 per cent to $593.2m. Outdoor equipment retailer Torpedo7 sales increased 29 per cent to $84.9m.

Its e-commerce subsidiary TheMarket.com increased its browser sessions by 268 per cent and now offers 2.5 million products through 600 merchants.

The company said its strong financial performance and “tight inventory management” had resulted in cash position of $183.6m and liquidity, including cash and available facilities, of $513.6m.

Chair Joan Withers said the interim dividend declared, in addition to the special dividend announced last month, reflected a strong Christmas trading period and “a continuation of elevated consumer spending in retail combined with the benefits of operational leverage as a result of our transformation investment”.

The dividend will be paid out on April 22.

Group chief executive Nick Grayston said the group’s record result was “pleasing” following disruption faced in the 2020 financial year.

“Despite the interruption to trading by the Auckland COVID-19 level 3 lockdown of last August, the business performed well, demonstrating the ability to adapt and flex amid business interruption,” Grayston said.

“As a result of the hard work to execute our transformation by our whole team over the last few years, we were able to drive significant gross profit improvement and cost leverage.”

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