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Myer is a stronger business, CEO says

AAP logoAAP 15/09/2016 Petrina Berry

Myer boss Richard Umbers says the retailer has made good progress in just 12 months. © AAP Image/Julian Smith Myer boss Richard Umbers says the retailer has made good progress in just 12 months. Department store chain Myer has shown signs its turnaround plan is working after it more than doubled its full-year profit to $60.5 million.

Total sales were up 2.94 per cent to $3.3 billion for the 12 months to July 30, while crucial comparable store sales were up three per cent.

Chief executive Richard Umbers said underlying net profit, which was down 10.63 per cent to $69.3 million, was in line with guidance and the results showed that the company's five-year turnaround plan had made good progress in just 12 months.

"There is no doubt that as a result of our strategy, Myer is a measurably stronger business today than it was a year ago," Mr Umbers said in a statement today.

Myer has culled underperforming brands, introduced new brands and increased floor space dedicated to popular lines.

Mr Umbers said the group had introduced more than 850 new or improved branded outlets inside its department stores in the past 12 months.

"The strong customer take-up of our wanted brands has impacted margin and mix," he said.

"Higher concession sales contribute to improved service and lower costs over time, but reduced gross profit margin."

He said Myer's new digital strategy was also working, with sales increasing 74 per cent.

The company's turnaround strategy includes closing underperforming stores.

Myer also announced it will close its Logan, Queensland, store in the 2018 financial year and will not proceed with plans to open one in Darwin.

This is on top of Myer's announcement in May that it will eventually close its Brookside, Brisbane store as well as stores in Orange and Wollongong in the current financial year.

It has previously dropped plans to open stores at Coomera and Tuggerah.

It also will hand back its Sydney stores in Castle Hill and Blacktown, and its Cairns store.

Myer has reinstalled a final dividend after not paying one in the 2015 financial year. It will pay a fully franked final dividend of 3.0 cents a share.

SIGNS MYER IS TURNING AROUND:

* FY16 net profit $60.5m, up from $29.8m in FY15

* Total sales 3.3b, up 2.9%

* Final fully franked dividend of 3.0 cents

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