Super Retail revamps stores

Leisure and sports retailer Super Retail Group is revamping its stores to lure budding anglers, car nuts and campers away from the internet.

The company, which owns Rebel Sport, Ray's Outdoors and Supercheap Auto, on Wednesday reported a net profit of $60.61 million for the 26 weeks to December 29, up from $34.94 million in the previous corresponding period.

However, the previous result only partially included Rebel Sport, which the company acquired in November 2011.

Super Retail managing director Peter Birtles said the company had invested $73 million in new and refurbished stores and developing an internet site during the half.

"We're taking the opportunity to invest in the organisation on the backlog of a strong trading performance and really position the company for the changes in the retail environment," he said.

"We're talking about the changes in dynamics with the advent of retail becoming a global industry and the threat of online," he said.

"We need to ensure that our stores are exciting and that we have highly efficient systems to support the business."

The retailer is reviewing its Ray's Outdoors and Fishing Camping Outdoors business which it expects to complete by May.

Overall like-for-like sales, which excludes new or closed stores, increased by 5.2 per cent in the auto division, 2.8 per cent in the leisure retail division and 8.3 per cent in the sports category.

Mr Birtles said that so far in the second half like-for-like sales had grown 5.5 per cent for auto, 10 per cent for leisure and eight per cent for the sports division.

Super Retail's revenue from continuing operations lifted during the half by 36.6 per cent to $1.037 billion from the previous corresponding period.

The company said it would pay a fully franked interim dividend of 17 cents a share on April 3.

City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho said Super Retail Group's strong result showed that it was still possible to be a successful retailer in Australia.

"This group continues to show that if you have a well-defined niche competitive retail offering, there is the capacity to do well in Australia," Mr Esho said.

"All their brands can be under threat from online but there's a reason why they continue to generate foot traffic and sales and that's because it is very well run."

Super Retail Group shares were up 25.5 cents or 2.4 per cent at $10.895 at 1524 AEDT.

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