Myer Holdings (MYR) expects trading conditions to remain challenging in the year ahead, but is confident of its position in the market after posting a slight lift in first-quarter sales.
Investors responded well to the news. At the 1015 AEDT official market open, Myer lifted 3.72% to $2.79, against a benchmark index decline of 0.35 per cent.
In the thirteen weeks to October 26, Myer posted sales of $691.1 million, a 0.44% increase on the $688.0 million recorded in the previous corresponding quarter.
In the same period, comparable sales increased 0.41% compared to last year.
The cosmetics, youth, womenswear and menswear categories were the strongest performers during the quarter, while the best performing states were Queensland, ACT and Victoria.
The retailer said online sales more than doubled, reflecting the significant improvements made to the online store and the supporting infrastructure in recent months.
Myer chief executive officer Bernie Brookes said the result was solid, particularly given the significant impact on sales caused by the refurbishment of three of its top 20 stores.
“We are pleased with this sales result which is in line with our expectations and gives us early encouragement that we are well positioned to make the most of our busiest time of year during the Christmas and Stocktake trading period,” Mr Brookes said.
“Whilst trading prior to the federal election was subdued, the trend improved modestly during the quarter and has been less volatile than in the months prior to the election, but continues to be patchy.
“This result demonstrates the progress we are making in strengthening our competitive position through the execution of our five point plan,” he said.