Myer confirms 4.8% sales slide

For Q1 FY19.

Myer has been forced to disclose its sales for Q1 FY19, after an article in the Australian Financial Review leaked financial information taken from an internal document.

The department store has reported a 4.8% fall in comparison to the previous corresponding period. Sales were down 4.3% on a comparable store basis. Total online sales grew by 3.6% during the 13 week period.

A statement released to the ASX read: “During the last five years, Myer has incurred net profit after tax (NPAT) loss in the first quarter. Due to the heightened focus on profitability, NPAT loss for Q1 FY19 showed an improvement on Q1 FY18. Myer reiterates that it has not given earnings guidance and that trading during the second quarter represents the most important contribution to Myer’s full year profitability.”

Myer CEO John King and chairman Gary Hounsell

Solomon Lew, chairman of Myer’s largest shareholder, Premier Investments is not convinced. Following claims about the importance of Q2 and Christmas last year, Myer issued an earnings guidance downgrade in December, and then again in February due to poor Christmas performance.

“The trend is not Mr Hounsell’s friend – a sales drop of 4.8% (nearly 1 in every 20 dollars of sales disappearing) is something that even Father Christmas can’t turn around,” Lew said. “Myer’s admission that its online sales growth has flatlined is also of major concern as this should be an automatic area of growth in line with every other retailer.”

Premier has again called on all Myer shareholders to join forces to vote for a second strike at the AGM on Friday 30 November, 2018, and then vote for a spill of the entire board.

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