Super Retail trims FY profit forecast

Owner of Supercheap Auto, Rebel Sports blames May budget for weaker sales.

Super Retail Group (SUL) has trimmed its full-year profit forecast, blaming the federal budget for hurting sales across its businesses.

At the 10.15am (AEST) official market open, Super Retail shares were 0.25% lower at $8.03, against a benchmark index fall of 0.35%.

The owner of Supercheap Auto and Rebel Sports said sales had been weaker than expected since the May 13 budget, forcing it to moderate its full-year net profit forecast.

Managing director Peter Birtles said group net profit was expected to rise by about five per cent to between $107 million and $109 million for the year.

He said it was disappointing to further moderate profit expectations, but believed it was the result of external factors.

The group's sales have been lower than expected for the past six weeks, and the company fears the trend will continue for the rest of the financial year.

"This reflects the significant downturn in consumer confidence since the federal budget, particularly across the lower to mid-income families who represent the group's core customers," the company said.

Super Retail said the warmer than usual temperatures experienced during autumn and early winter had also hurt apparel sales for its leisure and sports businesses.

Like for like sales, which strip out the effects of store openings and closures, fell 2.1% in the leisure division during the 24 weeks to June 14.

The auto and sports divisions managed modest rises of just 2.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Super Retail's business includes the BCF Boating Camping Fishing chain, Goldcross Cycles, FCO Fishing Camping Outdoors, Rays Outdoors, and Workout World.

Its sales update follows profit warnings by other retailers, including The Reject Shop and Bonds owner Pacific Brands, who believe they too have been hurt by the tough spending cuts outlined in the federal budget and warm weather.

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