The country's largest retail chain The Warehouse Group has reported an annual net profit of $89.8 million, up 15.4%, following strong second half sales.
Group sales for the year to July 29 were $1.73 billion, up 3.9% or $64.4m on the previous year, and representing the highest level of growth since 2004.
Improved performance in the second half saw sales rise 4.5% to $794.2m and gross profit climb 5.5% on the year before.
The Warehouse, or Red Sheds, reported total annual sales of $1.5b, up 4.2% with second half sales rising 5.1% to $688.4m. However operating profit of $80.9m fell from $98.8m last year or 18.1%.
Warehouse Stationery, the Blue Sheds, reported sales for the year of $206.6m, up 2.6% on last year. Second half sales rose 3% to 106.5m. Its operating profit of $9.8m was down on the $10.1m reported last year.
The group's online business grew 63%.
Group CEO Mark Powell said the results were in line with its strategy. Sales and profit growth were driven by key categories such as technology, jewellery, health and beauty, baby care and men's and women's apparel.
"I am especially pleased by the momentum we have seen in the second half of the year and the positive reaction from our customers to our refitted stores," he said in a statement to the NZX.
Chairman, Graham Evans said 2012 was a critical transition year for the company to show it could grow sales and gross profit after a number of years of declining sales.
"While it is early days in our turnaround strategy, Mark (Powell) and his team have shown that their new strategy can drive positive momentum and we are looking forward to this continuing in 2013, resulting in an increase in earnings."
The company announced a final dividend of 6.5 cents a share, the same as the year before bringing the total dividend for the year to 20cps. It will be paid on November 14 for shareholders on the register on November 2.