By Chris Nicholls

BRISBANE: BSR Group has reported strong Mother’s Day figures and "solid" overall trading for the year to date, according to general manager Ian Brown.

Brown said the week leading up to Mother’s Day (5-11 may) had seen sales rise 14.6 per cent, like for like, compared with last year.

Gross profit was down half a per cent on the same period last year, which Brown described as “not normal”, but put it down to rebates often offered for Mother’s Day-related products and the usual discounting around that time.

“Obviously, everything’s promoted on price. And everything in that particular category – Mother’s Day – is promoted on price. So you’d expect that [a drop in profits],” Brown said.

BSR Group’s results for the year to date had also been “solid”, Brown said, with April’s sales in particular spoken of as “excellent.”

Following a flat March, national like-for-like sales in April were “significantly up on those of a year ago”, Brown said.

“[The results are] an excellent performance, given the adverse conditions affecting the market.

“Overall, Betta Electrical stores are riding out these tough conditions and some regions continued to demonstrate exceptional sales growth.”

Brown said New South Wales and Western Australia continued to stand out, while portable IT, communications and computing continued to perform well.

The relatively rosy results came despite a general slowing of the retail market, which has seen Harvey Norman and David Jones both post slower growth figures. Brown put a lot of it down to higher interest rates and rising fuel and grocery prices.

Brown said the resilience of the group was due to Betta Electrical’s position in sub-metro and regional markets, marketing campaigns and promotions.

The launch of the Betta Electrical Gift Card program during Christmas last year, along with the “Three Wise Men” television commercial, had also proved a “great success” over the past year and in the lead up to Mothers Day.

Note: This article originally stated the gross profit drop for the Mother’s Day period was five per cent. It has been amended to show the correct figure of 0.5 per cent.