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Newly-listed Best & Less delivers record profit

Best & Less’ first financial year as a public company exceeded its own expectations, with strong earnings and like-for-like sales growth driving a net profit result 191 per cent up on the prior year.

The department store business saw total sales hit $663.2 million, up 6.1 per cent, and its online division made up 9.2 per cent of total sales while like for like sales grew 10.8 per cent.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped 165.2 per cent to $71.6 million, leading net profit to hit $47 million for the year.

Best & Less Group chief executive Rodney Orrock said he was very pleased to deliver a record result in the business’ first year as a listed company.

“Our record profit and high margin outcomes, despite continued disruption from Covid-19, were the result of disciplined execution of our strategy, centered around conveniently delivering a growing family’s clothing essentials, and a focus on effectively managing the things we can control, including our inventory and costs,” Orrock said.

“In this challenging environment the deep retail sector experience of our management team pays off, enabling us to respond effectively to rapidly changing conditions.”

During the year the business made progress on a number of key initiatives, such as improving the experience of its online platform and investing in expanding click-and-collect and ship-from-store capabilities amid the increasingly online trading environment.

However, with bricks-and-mortar trade is currently being impacted by lockdown restrictions across Australia, Best & Less’ main goal for the year ahead is to remain as flexible and productive as possible to prepare it for the inevitable relaxation of restrictions.

“FY21 was a fantastic year for BLG, demonstrating the strength of our customer proposition, growth strategy and ability to execute and be agile in challenging times,” Orrock said.

“While FY22 is off to a challenging start … our strong team and results focus will hold us in good stead through the next few months until vaccinate rates and conditions normalise.”

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