By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: It never rains at the end of the financial year, but it pours. Joining the yearly profit announcements made today by Sunbeam, and last week by Dick Smith, Thorn Group has today released its annual report to shareholders for the year ending 31 March 2011.

Thorn Group, the company responsible for the Radio Rentals and Rentlo store chains, focused an impressive list of financial and operational highlights in the report, which was released to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The report to shareholders follows a broader announcement made in May regarding the figures.

In terms of finance, Thorn Group saw an 8.6 percent increase in revenue, up to $157.6 million, as well as a normalised net profit after tax (NPAT) of $23 million, a 40 per cent increase on the previous year. The report also focused on operational highlights including a 10.5 per cent increase in total customers and the introduction of Thorn-branded flat panel televisions.

According to Thorn Group chairman Bernard L. Carrasco, “The continuing slowdown in the retail business sector has not stopped Thorn’s rental business from delivering impressive results.”

“The company achieved a net profit which was 13.8 per cent above last year’s results and 40 per cent on a normalised basis at $23 million.”

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

Managing director and CEO of Thorn Group, John Hughes, said that the results were strong considering the weak retail market.

“At a time when many other organisations are finding trading conditions to be difficult, particularly in consumer electronics, it is pleasing to see the strength and resilience of Thorn come to the fore,” Hughes said.

“The company has clearly demonstrated over a number of years that it has the capacity to perform under both strong and uncertain economic environments, which underscores the positive market acceptance and potential of our product offerings.

“The strength of Thorn’s recurring revenue streams, positive cashflows and conservative gearing also places the Company in a very solid financial position that enables it to comfortably expand current operations and take maximum advantage of other strategic opportunities that might arise.

“Growth has primarily been organic and driven through national television campaigns that emphasise our focus on giving customers ‘a fair go’, particularly those who may have had a previous credit default.”

Hughes noted that Thorn Group was well positioned to “generate strong growth” in the market as it enters its 75th year of operations.

Thorn Group CEO John Hughes holding fort in one of the company's Radio Rentals stores.