Furniture retailer Nick Scali expects higher profit as online sales surge

Rebecca Le MayNews Corp Australia
Nick Scali has been a beneficiary of reallocated travel cash.
Camera IconNick Scali has been a beneficiary of reallocated travel cash. Credit: News Corp Australia

Furniture and homewares retailer Nick Scali has upgraded its first-half profit expectations after sales soared 45 per cent in the September quarter despite COVID-19 forcing store closures in Melbourne and Auckland.

The company said on Monday the buoyant sales trend, which included a 47 per cent surge in online orders, continued through October.

Nick Scali has accordingly revised its profit guidance for the six months to December 31.

It previously forecast a 50 to 60 per cent increase compared with the first half of 2019-20 but now says net profit will be up by 70 to 80 per cent.

That’s even allowing for supply chain delays caused by lower inbound shipping and a reduced availability of sea containers, the company said.

“We’ve obviously been a beneficiary of some of the COVID expenditure, I’d say, and the reallocation of what has been spent overseas historically on travel,” head of commercial operations John Austen recently told Sky News.

“And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, primarily because we still have restrictions.”

Nick Scali shares have been on a rollercoaster over the past year, peaking at $9.52 in August after sinking to $3 in March.

Investors who bought the stock this time last year and sold them now will have made a profit of about 37 per cent.

The shares closed down almost 6 per cent at $8.42 on Monday.

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