The release of Beacon Lighting’s FY2018 results has revealed a record sales return for the commercial and residential lighting retailer, despite a slow second half.
The brand saw a sales increase of 9.7 per cent, up from $215 million to $236 million over the 12-month period, reflecting strong sales growth in Victoria and South Australia.
Western Australia continues to remain challenging for Beacon; however, the results indicate profit contribution in the state is improving.
As predicted, Beacon was unable to sustain the strong comparative sales growth it saw in H1, down from 2.6 per cent to 0.9 per cent in H2, finishing the year with a result of 1.6 per cent.
In further positive news, gross profit margin increased steadily for the first time in three years, bucking a downward trend for the brand, which saw a jump from 63.4 per cent to 65.7 per cent for FY2018.
The impact of Beacon’s decision to convert many of the company’s franchised stores to company-owned outlets was reflected in a decline of other income, which saw the percentage of sales drop from 1.2 per cent to 0.8 per cent.
Other operating expenses outlined by Beacon included rising occupancy costs, with new stores and power costs increasing, in addition to the brand’s continued investment in selling and distribution for established businesses, emerging businesses and new stores.
Over the last 25 months, Beacon has opened 16 new company stores, with the brand identifying further growth plans as its primary focus moving forward.
A new strategy sees the brand with a target of opening six new company-operated stores in Australia each year, with an overall goal of 175 stores across the network, which currently stands at 109.
Earlier this year, Beacon strengthened its online presence, launching on amazon.com.au, a partnership that has seen the network’s online sales increase by 41.7 per cent.
The online results further Beacon’s plans to continue sales channel expansion in U.S. and Europe.
The Beacon Lighting Group Directors have declared a fully franked dividend of 2.50 cents per share for H2 FY2018 (compared to 2.40 cents per share for H2 FY2017).
Along with the H1 FY2018 full franked dividend of 2.50 cents per share (compared to 2.35 cents per share for H1 FY2017), this brings the annual Beacon Lighting Group dividend for FY2018 to 5.00 cents per share (compared to 4.75 cents per share in FY2017).
Beacon Lighting has been contacted for comment.