NZ's Warehouse sees higher 2013 profit

WELLINGTON Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:44pm EST

WELLINGTON Nov 23 (Reuters) - New Zealand's biggest listed retailer The Warehouse Group Ltd expects its earnings for the current financial year to be better than last year, the company said on Friday.

The company added that earnings would be dependent on the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

It reported a net profit after tax of NZ$89.85 for the year to July 31, which after adjusted for one-offs was NZ$65.2 million.

Earlier this month the company reported a 1.9 percent rise in group sales for the first quarter, with a slight lift in its main stores, but solid growth in its stationery and on line sales.

Shares in the Warehouse, majority owned by founder Stephen Tindall and interests associated with him, closed on Thursday at NZ$3.15.

The Warehouse has 91 discount stores, known as "Red Sheds", which sell everything from consumer electronics, appliances, clothing, garden supplies, and grocery items. It also has 59 shops selling stationery, office supplies and computers.

It competes against Briscoe Group Ltd, KMart , the privately-owned Farmers department stores, and a host of smaller specialist retailers, such as clothing firm Hallenstein Glasson Ltd..

The country's two major supermarket chains, Foodstuffs and the Australian-owned Progressive Enterprises also each own 10 percent of the Warehouse. ($1=NZ$1.23) (Gyles Beckford)