Best & Much Less: results ‘inconsistent’ with Xmas boom

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By Published On: May 17, 20230 Comments

Best & Less has revealed it was unable to keep up its Christmas momentum with online sales down and minimal growth.

The subject of many headlines in recent weeks, Best & Less has posted its results for the second half period up to May 14. For the 19 weeks of trading to date in H2 FY23, total sales were $221.9 million, up just 1.8 percent on the pcp. Like-for-like sales were down 1.4 percent, with in store LFL sales up 0.4 percent and online sales down 18.2 percent.

Best & Less experienced a sales boom over Christmas with H1 results reporting total revenue up 13 percent to $324.8 million for the half after a rough period.

The company has lowered its expected NPAT from $18-$20 million as predicted at the release of its first half results, down to just $10-$12 million.

“While trading conditions have remained inconsistent as consumer confidence has been at historic lows, we had a strong Mother’s Day,” said BLG Executive Chair, Jason Murray. “With the Federal budget expected to provide some much-needed relief for our core customers and a further four new stores due to open before the end of the calendar year, we are optimistic about the outlook for sales growth. We expect to see the benefits of lower product and shipping costs begin to flow through in the first half of FY24 and we will remain focused on tightly controlling our cost base to preserve profitability.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed Billionaire retail veteran Brett Blundy has offered a takeover bid for Best & Less alongside Sanity’s Ray Itaoui. The pair made a $1.89-per-share, cash offer for the chain.Prior to this, Brett Blundy already controlled a 16.45 percent stake in Best & Less as a non-executive director of the business. Private equity firm Allegro Funds controls 32.43 percent, with the firm supporting the takeover along with Best & Less executive chairman Jason Murray’s Bignor Family Pty Limited which controls 8.27 percent of the retailer. This support meets the minimum acceptance condition of 55 percent – inclusive of Blundy’s stake as the BB Family International Trust (BBRC). Today’s trading update was accompanied by an update on the bid, reading, “BLG continues to work cooperatively with the Bidder to jointly despatch the Bidder’s Statement and BLG’s Target Statement (including the Independent Expert Report) in the near term. BLG shareholders do not need to take any action in connection with the Takeover Offer prior to receiving these documents.”

Former THE ICONIC CEO Erica Berchtold is set to takeover as CEO in September an continue Best & Less’s mission to preserve profitability.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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