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Briscoe boosts FY profit by at least 9% on strong Xmas

Briscoe Group, which operates the Rebel Sport, Briscoe and Living & Giving retail chains, says annual profit climbed by at least 9 percent after boosting sales in the fourth quarter, encompassing the Christmas period.

Group profit will beat $30 million in the year ended January 27, up from $27.5 million a year ago, managing director Rod Duke says in a statement.

The retail chain boosted fourth-quarter sales 3.1 percent to $146 million, with a 3.9 percent gain in its Rebel Sport stores and a 2.7 percent increase in its homeware outlets. Revenue gained 3.4 percent to $452.7 million on an annual basis.

"Trading was particularly strong immediately prior to and post-Christmas, and we were especially pleased with the significant lift in sales achieved by our online stores," Mr Duke says. "We are reasonably pleased with our sales, margins and overall performance for the final quarter of the year."

In November, Mr Duke signalled net profit would trump 2011, though he was not more specific, citing the importance of the Christmas retail period.

The retailer's shares were unchanged at $2.50 yesterday and have rallied 14 percent this year.

Briscoe expects to report its final result on March 7.