Sales are still falling at Myer.
Progress on restructuring the department store has proved slower than expected.
The company today posted a 1.4% drop in sales to $3.2 billion, down 0.2% on a comparable store basis, for the full year.
Net profit after tax was down 1.9% to $67.9 million, but within analyst expectations.
A short time ago, Myer shares were up 3.4% to $0.745.
CEO Richard Umbers says significant progress has been made to deliver New Myer which has assisted the company to withstand challenging retail trading conditions characterised by heightened competition, subdued consumer sentiment and discount fatigue.
“We are obviously disappointed to have not reached our target of exceeding last year’s NPAT of $69.4 million and that progress against our metrics that matter is slower than we anticipated,” he says.
“However Myer has become a leaner, more productive and efficient retailer, better placed to compete in a rapidly changing environment.
“In the year ahead we will be rolling out further initiatives particularly in our strongly performing omni-channel business in anticipation of a further wave of change in consumer and competitor behaviour.”
Myer says sales in the first six weeks of 2018 are below expectations but the business is well placed for Spring Racing and Christmas.
The company declared a fully franked final dividend of 2 cents a share, taking the full year payout to a steady 5 cents.
The full year result reflects the closure of three stores. Today Myer also announced that it would not be renewing leases at Colonnades, Belconnen and Hornsby.
Since the launch of restructuring in September 2015, Myer has closed or announced the closure of 74,670 square metres of store space overall as the company focuses on getting more revenue per square metre of retail space.
In 2017, sales per square metre were up 3.7% compared to 2015.
Implementation costs associated with New Myer were $20 million pre-tax, relating mainly to space optimisation, asset impairments and redundancies.
“We are building a more powerful and profitable omni-channel business and the performance of our online business was a standout,” says Umbers.
Online sales are up 41.1%. Omni-channel sales, which includes sales via 2,500 iPads in store, reached $177 million, representing 8.2% of total sales in July 2017.
The 2017 numbers: