Department store Myer has posted an 8.1 per cent slide in first-half profit, as sales barely grew.
Myer made a net profit after tax of $81 million for the key retail half-year period that ended on January 25.
The retailer says that fall in profit came despite a 0.3 per cent rise in total sales compared to the same period last year to $1.74 billion, and a 1.2 per cent rise when a store closure was factored in to the comparison.
Myer says its gross profit margin was down 21 basis points to 41 per cent.
The retailer’s profit was also hit by a 2.1 per cent rise in the cost of doing business (staff, rents, utilities, etc) to $540 million.
However, it did manage to reduce its net debt by 5 per cent to $230 million.
Myer will pay an interim dividend of 9 cents per share, fully-franked, on May 8 for shareholders who hold a stake as at March 31.