Solid Christmas trading failed to offset slow summer start for Best & Less


Poor consumer demand and falling foot traffic dented Best & Less Group’s first-half profits.

In a trading update of unaudited figures for the 26 weeks to January 1, the company said its sales improved 13 per cent to $324.8 million, driven by positive trading momentum through the Black Friday and Christmas trading periods.

However, tax-paid profit for the half fell 31.8 per cent to $13.7 million while like-for-like sales were down 4.9 per cent and online sales fell 29.8 per cent.

BLG executive chair, Jason Murray, said: “While we are cautious on the near-term macroeconomic outlook, our vertical model and the deep retail sector experience of our team gives us the ability to respond and adapt rapidly.”

He said the business will continue to invest in its best-pricing strategy while effectively managing its inventory and cost levels.

If optimal trading conditions persist, the company expects to deliver a second-half pro forma net profit after tax of between $18 million and $20 million. It plans to open six new stores, including one at Macquarie Centre in Sydney.

Audited results will be announced on February 21.


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