Briscoe says third quarter sales rise 6.2%, forecasts annual profit will rise

Briscoe Group [NZX: BGR], the homeware and sporting goods retail chain, said third quarter sales rose 6.2 percent amid discounting, and it expects to boost full-year profit.

Sales rose to $103.5 million in the 13 weeks ended Oct. 27, from $97.5 million in the year earlier period even as significant sales from a Labour Day promotion will fall in the fourth quarter rather than the third quarter this year, the Auckland-based company said in a statement.

"We are satisfied with the group's performance across this third quarter in a market which continues to demand aggressive promotional activity to drive sales," managing director Rod Duke said in the statement. "This bodes well for continued strong group sales growth across the final fourth quarter, which will include the Labour Day sales."

In a repeat of his statement at this time last year, Duke said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the company's outlook heading into the crucial final quarter which includes the Christmas period.

Full-year profit is likely to exceed last year's $30.5 million, although the extent of the gain will be determined by Christmas trading, Duke said, without providing further details.

Shares in Briscoe rose 2.1 percent to $2.43, extending their gain this year to 8.7 percent. The stock is rated a 'hold' based on three analyst recommendations tracked by Reuters.

In the third quarter, sales at the Briscoes Homeware chain rose 5.4 percent to $69 million while Rebel Sport sales increased 7.9 percent to $34.5 million.

On a same-store basis, which excludes the opening of two Briscoes Homeware stores and a Rebel Sport store and the closure of an outlet store and a Living and Giving store, third-quarter sales increased 5.4 percent. That reflects a 5 percent sales increase at the homeware chain and a 6.3 percent rise for sporting goods.