Myer has blamed economic conditions, the introduction of the carbon tax and a GST loophole on goods bought overseas for its weak performance.
Chairman Paul McClintock said the retail sector continues to be impacted by “a range of macroeconomic factors”.
"While our sales in the first quarter (of the 2012/13 year) reflected a modest improvement in consumer sentiment, the challenging retail and economic environment continues, both in Australia and internationally,” he told Myer’s annual general meeting in Melbourne.
"Uncertainty at a political level is also impacting business across Australia, at a time when business and consumers alike want and need certainty."
New taxes and charges such as the carbon tax and the flood levy had impacted consumers and their discretionary spending, while current industrial relations settings have significantly increased the company’s costs, Mr McClintock said.
He also joined the likes of fellow retail businessmen Gerry Harvey and Solomon Lew in calling on the Federal Government to cut in the GST-free threshold on goods bought from overseas.
"If the Federal Government truly values the retail sector, the impact of increasing labour costs and uncompetitive nature of online retailing must be balanced by measures to improve productivity or flexibility,” Mr McClintock said.
"We look forward to the outcomes of the GST review, as well as the low import threshold taskforce delivering reforms to ensure the retail industry can continue providing economic benefits to all Australians by remaining globally competitive."
Myer’s full year profit in 2011/12 fell 12.7 per cent from the previous year to $139.4 million, with sales down 1.3 per cent.
Its sales in the first quarter of the current year were up one per cent from the same period in the previous year.Myer shares were up three cents to $2.20 at 8am.
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