NZ's Warehouse Group sees lower H1 profits

WELLINGTON Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:51pm EST

WELLINGTON Jan 23 (Reuters) - Warehouse Group, New Zealand's biggest listed retailer, on Thursday said it expected profit to fall in the first half due to weak retail margins despite better sales.

The company said it expected adjusted net profit after tax to come in at NZ$46 million-NZ$48 million ($38.24 million-$39.90 million), compared with NZ$52.9 million a year ago.

Funding costs following the acquisition of retailer Noel Leeming and other businesses, and reduced rental income were factors in the lower profit forecast, the company said.

Warehouse has more than 220 stores, under three different brands, selling everything from groceries, clothing and garden items to office supplies, appliances, and computers. ($1 = 1.2030 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu, editing by David Evans)

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