The directors of Briscoe Group Limited (NZX/ASX code: BGP) announce unaudited sales for the thirteen-week second trading quarter ended 31 July 2022 (91 days) were $191.7 million, being 3.49% higher than the $185.3 million achieved for the same quarter of last year. The Group's homeware segment for the second quarter increased by 3.29% to $121.9 million, while sporting goods sales increased by 3.84% to $69.8 million.
Group Sales for the first half, 26-week period to 31 July 2022 were $367.9 million, an increase of 2.66% on the $358.4 million reported for the same period ended 1 August 2021. The Group's homeware segment increased sales by 2.74% to $228.7 million, while sporting goods sales also increased by 2.51% to $139.2 million.
Group Managing Director Rod Duke said, "We're pleased with this first half performance considering the ongoing pandemic and economic headwinds faced throughout the period. It's also worth remembering that the first half of last year recorded huge growth (+22.6%) as a result of the resurgence in retail spend experienced post the national lockdown during March to May 2020 of the previous year. So, to post increased sales on last year's impressive performance is a great achievement.
"Recognising this, we also note that this year's first half sales performance represents a significant increase of 21.44% on the more comparable first half period of February 2019 - July 2019, that is, before any impact of Covid.
"As previously reported, the first quarter was significantly influenced by the escalation of the Omicron outbreak and its impact on foot traffic to bricks and mortar stores. The impact was particularly noticeable during February and March as the outbreak took hold and spread through the country. The second quarter, particularly throughout July, was influenced by increasing negative economic sentiment on the back of significant cost of living increases including food and fuel price inflation, increased interest rates and falling house prices as well as the emergence of a second wave of Omicron cases.
"Our online channel continues to respond well and performed magnificently, recording sales growth in excess of 22% for the half and representing 19.4% of Group sales compared to 16.2% for the previous year's first half.
"The health and wellbeing of our team remains our highest priority and we continue to support them by providing paid leave for Covid-related absences, over-and-above existing entitlements and without application for the Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme. We are very mindful of the impact on all our team from the current public health situation as well as from declining economic factors in an employment market which is clearly under significant pressure. Once again, I'd like to thank the entire team for their commitment and outstanding efforts during this half. Their commitment and dedication are greatly appreciated and recognised by all the Group's directors.
"Supply chain disruptions have been widely reported now for some time, including factory delays, lack of shipping availability, port disruptions and increased costs. Our approach to secure inventory in advance continues to result in a relatively high level of stock compared to previous years. Although this means increased costs associated with storage and landing, it has definitely been beneficial for sales. We expect supply chain issues to impact for at least the remainder of this year.