What we learned from benchmarking
Second, the reporting season just passed saw a surprising number of retailers weather the debilitating effects of a weak AUD and maintain and, in some cases, improve gross margins (Gross margins are the increment between the cost of a good and its ultimate sale price). Hedging positions went some way to assisting this, but it appears clever management of wastage, shrinkage, freight/agents costs, supply chain efficiencies and judicious retail price adjustments were significant drivers. This could be seen in results posted by Nick Scali, Baby Bunting, The Reject Shop, Pacific Brands and 2/3 of Super Retail’s divisions. In several instances, gross margins were in line with long-term averages; an impressive achievement.
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Eley Griffiths Group is an independent fund manager specialising in listed Australian small companies. Our investment team has been uncovering hidden opportunities in small caps since 2003.