Myer sales up slightly: Midday Roundup

Department store Myer has reported a slight rise in its third quarter sales, with the menswear, cosmetics, womenswear and childrenswear the strongest performing categories.

Sales were up 0.5% to $652 million compared to this time last year and on a comparable store sales basis, sales had increased 0.4%.

This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth.

The department store says it will stay focused on strengthening its loyalty program and building its omni-channel offering, but Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes said in a statement the business remains cautious about the outlook of the retail sector.

“Notwithstanding the external factors influencing consumer confidence and discretionary spend, we remain focused on executing our well-established five-point strategic plan, and continue to make progress on all five pillars,” he says.

KKR to sell stake in Seven

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co is selling its remaining stake in Seven West Media, valued at $265 million.

The decision ends a seven-year relationship between the companies, with Seven West Media being KKR’s first media investment in Australia.

Justin Reizes from KKR said in a statement the decision was a “tough one”.

“Our decision to sell our shareholding is based on a broad range of parameters on which we based our initial investment and how we sought returns for our investors,” he says.

Seven chairman Kerry Stokes said in a statement KKR had been a “great partner”.

“We understand their decision to sell their shareholding in the company. George Roberts, Justin Reizes and the team at KKR have been excellent business partners and we regret they have come to the conclusion of their investment,” he says.

The decision by KKR to sell out of the business was announced yesterday, the same day television executive Tim Worner was appointed as the new chief executive of Seven.

Shares flat on open

Australian shares have had a shaky start to the morning, with stocks opening slightly higher but falling nearly nine points on the S&P/ASX200 benchmark by midday.

At midday, the benchmark was 8.7 points lower at 5171.4. The materials sector was trading well again today up 94.6 points to 9,599.

Overnight the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 52.3 points higher at 15387.58.

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