Myer Posts $476 Million Loss, After Pricey Write-Down of its Brand Name

Outside of Myer, Perth
Troubled department store Myer has posted a hefty first-half loss of more than $476 million as the search for its new chief executive continues.

Myer’s write-down of its own goodwill and brand name, in the order of $500 million, was the biggest impact on its results.

The company will not pay its shareholders an interim dividend in light of the disappointing result and the “challenging retail trade environment”.

Myer’s online sales surged by 49 per cent but the bigger picture is more bleak for investors, as its total sales fell 3.6 per cent during the six-month period.

In a statement to the ASX, Myer’s chairman Gary Hounsell acknowledged the result was “unsatisfactory” and “reflected a number of executions issues including, for example, the failure to respond appropriately to the heightened competitive environment prior to Christmas”.

The company noted that sales had improved in the seven weeks after January 27, when its first-half reporting period ended.

However it said “week to week volatility continues to exist”.

Earlier this month, Myer was booted out of the ASX 200 index.

This was after its market value fell to around $360 million, which is too low to be considered among Australia’s top 200 public companies.

The company is still on the lookout for a new CEO, after a string of profit warnings which resulted in Richard Umbers being sacked on Valentine’s Day.

Myer’s announcement of a first-half loss was widely expected.

Its share price lifted by 2.3 per cent to 44 cents at 12:55pm (AEDT).