September 30, 2022

Myer is doubling down on online sales and its customer loyalty program as the department store's turnaround story pays off.
The retailer is paying its first final dividend since 2017 after its most profitable second half in almost a decade.
Myer said on Thursday it made $49 million in statutory net profit after tax for the 52 weeks to July 30, up 5.7 per cent from the past year. In the second half it made $28m in net profit, its best performance since 2013.
Total sales were up 12.5 per cent to $2.9 billion, even with 11.4 per cent of all in-store trading days spent in lockdowns.
Myer ended the fiscal year with $58m in debt, down $8.8m from the year before, and $243.9m in cash, up $65.3m from 2020/21.
Ron Shamgar, the head of Australian equities at TAMIM Asset Management, tweeted that the results "look fantastic".
"For a dinosaur biz it has some of the best financials of all the retailers," he wrote.
Myer chief financial officer Nigel Chadwick told analysts in a conference call on Thursday "it's reasonable for us to claim our balance sheet is rock solid and has been all year long".
Four years ago Myer was in danger of breaching its covenants with lenders as the historic retailer struggled with its debt burden, but on Thursday chief executive John King took questions from analysts about the secret to the successful turnaround.
Mr King said Myer had been focused on improving the customer experience while controlling costs.
He said Myer would continue to "aggressively" grow its online division, where sales were up 34 per cent to $772.8m in 2021/22.
"We are supercharging online and it keeps delivering strong results to the business," Mr King said.
"Omni-channel" customers spend 1.5 times more and shop 2.8 times more frequently than online-only or in-store only shoppers, Myer said.
The company will open a new 40,000sq m national distribution centre in Ravenhall, Victoria, later this calendar year that will feature distribution robots.
Myer's customer loyalty program, MYER one, grew by 600,000 customers to 3.7 million active in the past 12 months, making it one of the largest in the country. It has new partnerships with Commbank and Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer programs.
For the coming year, Myer has plans to redouble its efforts in combating "shrinkage", an industry term that refers to inventory loss from staff theft and shoplifting.
Myer lost $3m more from shrinkage in 2021/22 than the previous year.
Mr Chadwick said the problem had grown as the retailer added more desirable brands.
The company declared a fully-franked final dividend of 2.5 cents per share, taking its total payout for the year to 4c per share.
At 12.55pm AEST, Myer shares were down 2.4 per cent to 62c, up 37.8 per cent for the year.


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