Australian retailer Myer achieves annual profit boosted by online sales

Adds detail on results, background

September 16 (Reuters)Australian retailer Myer Holdings MYR.AX reported annual profit Thursday after losing a year earlier, boosted by strong online sales and benefits from government programs despite COVID-19 restrictions affecting footfall at its physical stores.

For the year ending July 31, the big box retailer’s after-tax net profit, excluding one-time costs, was A $ 50.7 million (A $ 37.21 million), compared to a loss from A $ 11.3 million the previous year.

Store closures due to restrictions caused by a pandemic in early 2020 and parts of fiscal 2021 severely affected the retailer’s profitability, forcing Myer to rely on the government’s JobKeeper payment program.

The impact on Myer’s bottom line caused major shareholder Premier Investments, which owns around 15.8% of the department store company, and criticized its strategy to boost profitability over the years to push so aggressive overhaul of the company’s board of directors.

Despite strict statewide shutdowns in the last quarter of fiscal 2021, Myer’s total sales for the year rose 5.5% to A $ 2.66 billion thanks to the online sales, which jumped about 28% from last year.

Myer has not declared a final dividend for a fourth consecutive year.

($ 1 = 1.3626 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bangalore; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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David A. Albanese

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