Super Retail Group's 201pc profit rise

·2-min read

Super Retail Group, which owns BCF and Supercheap Auto, has reported a first-half profit increase of 201 per cent as Australians looked for leisure alternatives to travel during the pandemic.

The company, which includes sports chain Rebel and outdoor clothing chain Macpac, on Wednesday reported net profit after tax of $172.8 million.

Online sales surged by 87 per cent to $237.4 million as more customers chose to shop from their devices.

The biggest improvement came from the Boating, Camping, Fishing chain.

Sales rose by 50.9 per cent to $427.7 million.

The easing of coronavirus restrictions in most states helped BCF, according to Super Retail Group, as customers spent more time on leisure activities.

Western Australia, Queensland and NSW had the biggest gains in BCF sales.

The chain does not reap as much in sales as its sister stores.

Supercheap Auto sales rose 20.2 per cent to $661.9 million.

Sales at Rebel gained by 17 per cent to $623.7 million.

Macpac's sales fell by 5.3 per cent to $63 million due to COVID-19 temporary closures of stores in Auckland and Melbourne.

Super Retail Group chief executive Anthony Heraghty said the overall strong sales continued in the second half.

Yet he believed customers' priorities could change.

He said customers' spending would moderate once government stimulus was phased out and international travel restrictions eased.

A key government support measure during the pandemic, JobKeeper wage assistance, is due to expire at the end of March.

Many people may lose their jobs, and spend less, as a result.

Shareholders will receive an interim payout of 33 cents per share, fully franked. This was better than the previous fully franked interim dividend of 21.5 cents per share.

The company also said it will return $1.7 million in JobKeeper wage support to the federal government.

A number of companies have pledged to return the wage assistance, including Adairs and Nick Scali. Others, such as Premier Investments, have not.

Shares were higher by 2.25 per cent to $11.84 at 1503 AEDT.