Myer posts better sales results, its shares soar

Lauren Phillips at the Myer Marquee on Stakes Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images for the VRC

Myer shares jumped as the department store posted improved sales for the September quarter.

A short time ago, its shares were up more than 6% to $1.045, but still below the year’s high of $1.78.

Myer sales in the first quarter were up 3.4% to $714.8 million, an improvement on the full year, which are up just 1.67% to $3.195 billion. Comparable store on store sales were up 3.9% on the back of the August Spring sales.

The retailer, reporting to the company’s AGM, is maintaining its net full year profit guidance of between $64 million and $72 million.

However, the latest quarterly results are nowhere near that of its competitor David Jones.

But the growth is still a low way behind David Jones, under new management since a $2.1 billion takeover by South Africa’s Woolworths group, and this week posted a 12.2% rise in sales over the past quarter.

Myer in September announced a new strategy, which includes $480 million capital investment and a target of greater than 3% improvement in sales between next year and 2020.

CEO Richard Umbers, appointed in March, says the Myer strategy will put greater focus and investment into its best stores and most valuable customers.

In a separate announcement, David Whittle, the former head of M&C Saatchi Australia, is joining the board of the troubled department store.

“Dave will bring a fresh and innovative perspective to our business and we’re looking forward to his insights and input as we implement New Myer,” says chairman Paul McClintock.

“His deep expertise in helping brands appeal to consumers will be invaluable as Myer creates a customer-led offer for our high-value customer.”

Whittle had 10 years at M&C Saatchi, including three years as managing director in Australia.

“I’m passionate about innovation, so it’s perfect timing for me to bring my skills and experience to the team as Myer embarks on its five-year transformation program,” says Whittle.

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