Rebel Sport and BCF owner Super Retail Group flags 200pc profit increase | Ralph Lauren

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Super Retail Group says “unprecedented” consumer demand has fuelled a sales surge, with the Super Cheap Auto and Rebel Sport owner benefiting from the Christmas and Black Friday sales period.

In an update to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday, Super Retail flagged it is anticipating net profit after tax for the first half to soar by about 200 per cent to between $170 million and $173m.

The company, which also owns BCF and Macpac, noted like-for-like sales to December 26 was 24 per cent higher than the first half of the previous financial period, while online sales during the same period jumped 87 per cent to $237m.

Super Retail chief executive, Anthony Heraghty said the company was in a strong cashflow position but would “remain cautious” during the second half of the financial year, which is still being influenced by ongoing economic uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we remain cautious on the outlook for the second half given the uncertain economic environment, the group has a resilient business model underpinned by powerful brands with market-leading positions in growing lifestyle categories, an active customer base of 7.1 million loyalty club members and a conservative balance sheet with a strong cash balance and no net bank debt,” Mr Heraghty said.

The company indicated Macpac sales fell due to government-mandated store closures in Melbourne and Auckland that impacted turnover during the six months.

It also flagged it would be paying back $1.7m in JobKeeper wage subsidies to the Federal Government due to the higher-than-expected jump in operational performance.

“The operating leverage which the group has been able to achieve during a period of robust online sales growth clearly reinforces the profitability of our digital sales and, in particular, the scalability of our omni-retail platform,” Mr Heraghty said.

“As inventory levels are restored during the second half, following a period of unprecedented consumer demand, we expect the level of promotional activity to increase.”

Super Retail is expected to hand down its half-year results on February 17.

Its shares were up 1.4 per cent at 9.20am to $11.92.

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