Shares in Myer plunged as much as 12 per cent following a profit warning, after its annual stocktake sale failed to attract shoppers.
After a weak lead-up to Christmas, the department store did not see any relief in its January sales period, with total sales for the month down 6.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
Myer chief executive Richard Umbers called it a “significant deterioration” in trading.
The bad news came on a day of broad losses across the Australian stock market and saw Myer shares hit a new all-time low.
The company said it now expected its net profit for the first-half of the financial year to come in between $37 million and $41 million, down from $63 million in the same period a year earlier.
Investors were told to brace for an impairment charge as the retailer would undertake an assessment of assets on its balance sheet but no further details were provided.
No improvement in conditions expected
Myer said it did not expect conditions to improve in the second half and it was not able to provide guidance for its full-year profit.
“Myer recognises the ongoing, challenging and competitive retail conditions and remains resolutely focused on improving foot traffic and sales across all channel during the second half,” Mr Umbers said.
Today’s announcement followed a profit warning in mid-December after sales fell in the first two weeks of the month, compounding lower sales in November.
Earlier this week, major Myer shareholder and retail veteran Solomon Lew renewed his push to spill the Myer board.
Mr Lew’s Premier Investments requested a copy of Myer’s shareholder register and said it intended to call an extraordinary general meeting to “reconstitute” the board.
At 12:45pm AEDT Myer shares were down 8.5 per cent at 59 cents, making it the worst performer on the ASX 200 by percentage change.