Two retail groups which own the Supercheap Auto and JB-Hi-Fi stores have reported bumper first-half earnings during the pandemic.
Super Retail Group, which owns BCF, Macpac, Rebel and Supercheap Auto, on Monday said net profit after tax was expected to rise by up to 201 per cent to $173 million, based on preliminary figures.
Its Boating, Camping, Fishing (BCF) business was the standout as coronavirus restrictions limited overseas travel and reduced recreation options. Total sales rose 51 per cent to $428 million. Online sales surged 113 per cent.
Supercheap Auto sales rose 20 per cent to $662 million, Rebel sporting gear sales rose 15 per cent to $624 million while sales at adventure gear retailer Macpac slipped five per cent to $63 million.
The latter was particularly affected by temporary store closures due to coronavirus.
The company also said it will return $1.7 million in JobKeeper wage support to the federal government.
Some companies have been criticised for making profits after collecting the wage subsidy and have not returned the money.
Chief executive officer Anthony Heraghty said management was cautious about the second-half outlook given an uncertain economic environment.
The company will on February 17 give first-half earnings for the six months to December 26.
JB Hi-Fi, which includes whitegoods chain The Good Guys, said preliminary figures indicated a 86.2 per cent rise in net profit after tax to $317.7 million.
The global Black Friday sales promotion in November, as well as Christmas, helped offset the impact of temporary coronavirus store closures.
Sales across Australia and New Zealand rose 23.7 per cent to $4.94 billion, according to preliminary figures.
The company said it did not collect any government wage subsidies and continued to pay landlords and staff during the first-half.
JB Hi-Fi will on February 15 give first-half earnings for the six months to December 31.
Shares in Super Retail Group were higher by 1.02 per cent to $11.87 at 1421 AEDT.
Shares in JB Hi-Fi fetched a record $55.25, then eased to be up 3.47 per cent to $52.53.