UPDATE 1 – Aussie Myer expects swing to generate profits as online sales surge

(Add online sales, history, shares)

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Australian retailer Myer Holdings Ltd on Thursday forecast full-year profit for the financial year 2021, compared to a loss reported last year, helped by a rise in online sales and benefits from support programs government and rent waivers.

Store closures due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions early last year had severely hurt the 120-year-old retailer, forcing it to rely on the government’s JobKeeper payment system.

The company said in March it had received A$51 million under the JobKeeper scheme and secured A$18 million in rent relief related to store closures.

Myer now expects online sales to grow by around 28% to A$539.5 million ($397.5 million) and account for a fifth of its total revenue over the course of the year. fiscal 2021, while total sales for the year are expected to increase by 5.5%.

It also expects net profit after tax to be between A$47 million and A$50 million for the financial year ending July, compared to a net loss of A$11.3 million in fiscal 2020 and profit A$33.2 million in 2019.

Last month, Myer’s lead investor, Premier Investments, said it had entered into discussions with other shareholders to reorganize the company’s board. Premier criticized Myer’s strategy to shore up profitability over the years.

The company’s shares jumped 10.6% to 0.52 Australian dollars, their highest level since December 5, 2019. ($1 = 1.3565 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)

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David A. Albanese