JB reveals margin pressure and new Clive Anthonys branding

JB Hi-Fi is still racking up the sales and ticking over profits, but its margins have taken a huge hit, according to the listed retailer’s presentation to the Macquarie Bank.

In the presentation, JB Hi-Fi demonstrated its continual success matrix, with a 23.2 per cent rise in sales and a 28.8 per cent rise in net profit after tax (HY10 compared to HY09), but gross margins have fallen 26 basis points during this period.

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Overall, JB Hi-Fi presented a very solid update to the investment bank, saying that comparative store sales for period January to March 2010 were positive, which it claimed was “unlike many other retailers”. JB did concede, however, that sales for March and April 2010 were behind internal expectations.

“The Government stimulus package supported sales last year more than we anticipated,” JB told Macquarie. “We remain cautious that recent interest rate rises are impacting consumer spending.”

“We feel that this could be somewhat offset going forwards by the positive impacts of higher economic growth and lower unemployment.”

Despite the fall in gross margin, JB management also unveiled its new Clive Anthonys shopfronts, which prominently feature the phrase “Less for cash” in upper case on the exterior. The new shop branding is an all red facade, with “Clive Anthonys: Electrical Warehouse” written in black on a yellow price ticket atop the entrance. On the other side of the shop to the “Less for cash” sign is the label “Discount electrical warehouse”.

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