Super Retail Group saw like for like sales growth of 3.2 per cent over the first 16 weeks of FY20, though at the cost of margin.
While chief executive Anthony Heraghty praised the solid opening to the year, shareholders reacted with less enthusiasm, dropping the business’ share price from $9.50 a share to $8.70 by close of business Tuesday.
“In response to a cautious consumer, we have activated a higher level of promotional activity across the business which has successfully generated top line growth, but adversely impacted margin,” Heraghty said at the group’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.
While margin at Supercheap Auto and Rebel remained in line with the prior comparative period, market pressure on Boating, Camping, Fishing led to margin deteriorating across the period.
While the group didn’t specify the margin impact on Macpac, Heraghty did note the business is now positioned for profit.
“We have the capacity to improve margins through deeper customer engagement, improved promotional efficiency and integrating our supply chain,” Heraghty said.
According to Heraghty, the group saw online sales grow 25 per cent over the year, which now represents over 7 per cent of total group sales. Almost half of all online sales were click-and-collect sales.
Supercheap Auto saw segment like-for-like sales grow 2.3 per cent, driven by a higher average transaction value, and an increase in average item value.
The auto-parts retailer is now focusing on expanding its value-add services, such as its bulb and battery fitting service, as well as diagnostics.
Sporting goods retailer Rebel also saw like-for-like sales improve due to higher average transaction value, with a growth of 3.3 per cent.
Driven by ongoing investment in Rebel’s omnichannel capabilities, online sales grew 33 per cent.
Boating, Camping, Fishing saw positive like-for-like sales across all states, up 3.2 per cent. Online sales grew by 6 per cent during the period, though represent 7 per cent of segment sales.
Approximately 70 per cent of BCF’s online sales are click-and-collect sales.
Macpac grew like for like sales by 7.3 per cent, including Macpac Adventure Hubs.
The year to come
Heraghty noted that while the retail landscape is changing, and competition is increasing, the group is confident in its future.
“We own four powerful brands with leading market positions in the high-involvement lifestyle categories of auto, sports, leisure and adventure. We have over six million active loyalty club members. We are growing our online market-share and we have the scale to share our cost of our investment in our omni retail platform,” Heraghty said.
In the coming year, Heraghty said the group would focus on digitisation, supply chain integration, and producing a seamless omni-retail experience across its brands.