Myer boss stands by turnaround strategy

Myer has posted weak full-year results due to strong competition and soft consumer spending

Myer has posted weak full-year results due to strong competition and soft consumer spending

Myer boss Richard Umbers is disappointed by the department store's 80 per cent drop in full-year profit but remains is committed to his turnaround strategy, saying the result has "stabilised" the business even as retail conditions remain tough.

Myer is two years into a five-year, $600 million turnaround plan based on giving more space to popular brands, cutting back private labels and closing stores.

Mr Umbers, delivering Myer's full-year results on Thursday, said while the "New Myer" strategy hasn't yet delivered the sales or earnings growth anticipated, it is showing promise amid a tough retail environment.

He argued the plan has broadly stabilised sales, which fell only 0.2 per cent on a comparable stores basis in the year to July 29 as underlying profit slid 1.9 per cent to $67.9 million.

"If you see this in the context of the historical performance of the business, and importantly with the broader portfolio of businesses out there and their performance, a flat sales result and a $1.5 million deterioration in profit in some circles is still quite credible," Mr Umbers told AAP.

"The execution of New Myer is why we have been able to stabilise what has been a very dramatic decline."

The retailer made just $11.94 million in statutory net profit for the 52 weeks to July 29, down 80.3 per cent on the previous 53-week year.

Total sales fell 2.67 per cent to $3.2 billion and were impacted by the earlier closure of three stores, Brookside in Brisbane and Orange and Wollongong in NSW, and writedowns on the value of popular fashion brands Top Shop and sass & bide.

Myer announced it will close a further three stores - Colonnades in South Australia, Belconnen in the ACT, and Hornsby in Sydney's north - in what it said will be another challenging year ahead.

Mr Umbers said the stores were underperforming and their lease agreements were due to expire in 2019 or 2020.

Since the launch of New Myer in September, 2015, the company has closed or announced the closure of a total 74,670 square metres of store space.

"If you look around the globe there is no question that (department stores) operate in a challenging environment," Mr Umbers said.

"I think there is a future for department stores but it is a store that is different from one our parents would have known."

He said the first six weeks of FY2018 were below expectations and reflected a "subdued start to the year", with new market entrants including Amazon, UNIQLO, Zara and H&M expected to hit sales.

Myer shares ended Thursday up one cent, or 1.4 per cent, at 73 cents.

MYER'S STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME SLOW SPENDING:

* Underlying Net profit down 1,9pct to $67.9m

* Statutory net profit down 80.3pct to $11.94m

* Total sales down 2.67 per cent to $3.2b

* Fully franked final dividend of two cents, down from 3 cents

* Full-year payout of five cents a share, unchanged

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