Athlete’s Foot profit jumps


athletesfootRCG Corporation, owner of The Athlete’s Foot Australia, has reported another record half year profit for the six months ended 29 December 2013.

From continuing operations, RCG lifted consolidated net profit after tax 9.2 per cent from $4.61 million to $5.03 million, while earnings before interest tax and depreciation increased 4.7 per cent from $6.77 million to $7.1 million.

As a result of generating cash from operations of $9.33 million, the company has net cash on hand at the end of December (after interest bearing liabilities) of $10.77 million, after the Saucony, Podium, and four partnership store acquisitions as well as the rollout of five new Merrell stores.

Hilton Brett, CEO of RCG Corporation, said “First half earnings growth was exactly in line with our plans. We are confident in, and excited about, the prospects for the second half and we are still targeting full year earnings growth of 15 per cent”.

The Athlete Foot’s Australian stores recorded like for like sales growth of 2.1 per cent for the half year. Total group sales increased 2.0 per cent to $94.3 million and EBITDA grew 2.3 per cent.

The business delivered a number of major long term projects during the half year including:

  •  The completion of the rollout of Fitzi®, TAF’s proprietary new fitting technology which is believed to be the most advanced system of its type
  •  The completion of the rollout of Erply, TAF’s new generation point of sale and retail management solution
  • The implementation of phase one of its new customer relationship management and cross channel marketing platform
  • The launch of the ‘Partnership Program’, with four partnership stores now operational.

“The projects have all been in the pipeline for some time and it is gratifying and exciting to see them to come to fruition. Managements’ focus will now shift from implementation to leveraging off the opportunities created by these initiatives,” Brett said.

During the all important back to school month of January, Australian store like for like sales rose 8.1 per cent lifting like for like sales for the year to the middle of February to 3.3 per cent. The Athlete’s Foot expects to get full year like for like sales growth of three to four per cent.

“We continue to be very pleased with the performance of the The Athlete’s Foot business and are particularly pleased with the January results, as the business continues to win market share in this key period.

“We are confident that these results, together with the anticipated contribution from partnership stores for the back half, will result in The Athlete’s Foot enjoying strong earnings growth for the remainder of the year.”

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