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Accent Group profits from digital sales and better margins

Accent Group on Tuesday reported record net profit in fiscal 2018, driven by a 131 per cent year-on-year increase in digital sales.

The retailer’s online offering was buoyed by four new e-commerce sites for Timberland, Dr. Martens, Platypus New Zealand and Skechers New Zealand, the launch of click-and-collect and click-and-dispatch options in Platypus and Hype, as well as the integration of Afterpay in-store across retail banners.

“In the face of challenging consumer environment and increasing competition from international entrants, our strategy of delivering a best in class customer experience has delivered strong results,” Accent Group chief executive Daniel Agostinelli said.

“We have made good progress against our growth plans, including increased digital sales and new stores along with a significant improvement in gross profit margin through vertical brand sales and reduced discounting.”

The group saw total sales, including The Athlete’s Foot (TAF) franchise sales, reach $861 million, while company-owned sales reached $676 million, up 9.3 per cent on the year prior.

Hype, Skechers, Dr. Martens, Vans and Timberland all traded strongly for the period, while sales in Platypus, Merrell and Hype fell in line with expectations.

Wholesale sales for the year reached $108.7 million, with several brands outperforming the year prior, though Skechers sales fell year on year.

Internally, a dedicated team has been set up to focus on vertical and emerging brands, with several new product initiatives launching across several of the groups’ brands.

The company is currently investigating a potential expansion into a range of international markets, with the preferred method of expansion noted as organic, direct entry through the Platypus brand.

The group forecasts mid-single digit EBITDA growth in FY19, strong digital growth and continued margin improvement through vertical and emerging brands and further reduced discounting.

This story originally appeared on sister site Inside Retail Australia. 

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