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Super Retail Group Founder Loses $80M Overnight, As Stocks Drop

Super Retail Group has seen sales and profitability drop during the first half of FY22, but managed to put a positive face on it all, reporting “record sales” for the final three months of 2021.

Sales across the entire group, which includes Rebel Sports, Supercheap Auto, BCF, and Macpac, fell 4 per cent, to $1.7 billion.

Statutory net profit dropped nearly 36 per cent, to $110.8 million, due to global supply chain issues coupled with rising operating costs due to the pandemic and its related woes.

Despite the drop, the group is reporting a record in online sales, with digital sales up 64 per cent to $389, close to a quarter of all sales.

The half-year results end on December 25, too, meaning that Boxing Day sales aren’t included in these figures.

In addition, SRG have completed 15 new store openings and 28 refurbishments and relocations, and seen active club members grow by 22 per cent, to 8.7 million. They also hold no bank debt, and have a $94 million cash balance.

Shareholders were less impressed by the positive spin, and responded in kind, with shares falling 9 per cent to finish trading yesterday at $11.63, down $1.22.

This also wiped over $80 million (on paper) from company founder Reg Rowe, who formed the company in 1972 as a mail-order battery service. He and co-founder wife Hazel control a 29 per cent stake in the Group.

CEO and Group MD Anthony Heraghty said: “We are pleased to have delivered a strong top line sales performance in the first half, despite thechallenges of Omicron and a disrupted global supply chain.

“After COVID-19 lockdowns disrupted trade in the first quarter, we delivered a fast finish to the half, achieving a record second quarter sales result.

“Our omni-retail capability and executionhas been key to meeting consumer demand, underpinning a record digital salesperformance driven by uptake in Click & Collect.”

Click and Collect was up 109 per cent during the half.

“We entered the second half with strong sales momentum, which has continued in the new calendar year. Looking forward, the Group will continue to reinvest in the business, includingdigital, loyalty and network to execute our strategic priorities and grow our four core brands.”

Of the four core brands, only Macpac saw a sales lift, of 4 per cent to $65 million.

Super Cheap Auto was down 6.9 per cent to $616m, Rebel Sports by 2.9 per cent to $605m and BCF down 2.2 per cent to $418m.

Heraghty, however, remains optimistic coming into 2022.

“We have seen an encouraging uplift in sales momentum as the second half has progressed, with consumer caution starting to recede. Super Cheap Auto and BCF, in particular, have delivered strong sales with both brands benefiting from higher in-stock positions in key categories,’’ Heraghty said.

“While COVID-19 continues to cause disruption to our customers, team members and trade partners, the group remains focused on executing our business strategy and investing for growth to deliver long-term value for our shareholders.”

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