BMTC declares 1Q loss
MONTREAL – Mounting household debt and a decline in household consumption throughout Quebec plagued its largest full-line furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer, publicly-held BMTC Group, in the first quarter of its current 2020 fiscal year.
For the three months ending 30 April 2019, the company said revenues were $149.7 million, down 7.7% from $162.2 million for corresponding period last year. Same store sales were also down 7.7% for the quarter.
The net loss for the quarter was $3.46 million or 10 cents per share, reversing net earnings of $4.8 million or 13 cents per share recorded for comparable period.
BMTC changed its fiscal year to 31 January effective in 2018.
The company noted its current share repurchase program earned one cent per share during the first quarter. There were no other extraordinary items impacting the bottom line.
In her note to shareholders, president and chief executive officer Marie-Berthe Des Groseillers noted the new Brault & Martineau store in the Montreal suburb of St-Therese open last week (12 June 2019). The store is the prototype for the planned redesign of the banner.
The old Brault & Martineau will be converted into an EconoMax outlet and is scheduled to open sometime this August.
Des Groseillers told shareholders the retailer is being bracketed by macro-economic factors. “The significant drop in Quebec household consumption due to socio-economic factors as well as the significant increase in their level of indebtedness over the past few years has impacted the company’s results as of January 31, 2019 and continued during the course of the first fiscal quarter of 2020.”
She also pointed out household debt in Quebec has reached $1.70 for every $1.00 in disposable income and one-third of all Quebeckers live paycheque-to-paycheque. “If this trend continues, the company could experience in the first fiscal semester (half) of 2020 a significant revenue decline,” she warned.
BMTC board election
In a related announcement, the company said that all members of its board of directors were re-elected at its recent annual general meeting.
In addition to Marie-Berthe Des Grossillers and long-time chairman Yves Des Groseillers, the board is comprised of:
- Lucien Bouchard, former premier of Quebec and a partner in the Montreal law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg;
- André Bérard, lead director;
- Gabriel Castiglio, partner in the Montreal law firm of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin;
- Charles Des Groseillers, vice president of A. Bélanger, an investment firm and a significant shareholder in BMTC that is controlled by the Des Groseillers family;
- Anne-Marie Leclair; partner and vice president of strategy and innovation at LG2, a Montreal-based advertising and communications firm; and,
- Tony Fionda, senior vice president of Remstar Capital, a private investment and consulting firm.
BMTC Group operates 32 stores in Quebec under the Ameublements Tanguay, Brault & Martineau and Economax banners.