BMTC sales/earnings fall
MONTREAL – Having all 32 of its stores closed for at least 65 days during the first half of its current fiscal year caused sales for BMTC Group, Quebec’s largest full-line furniture retailer, fall dramatically on a year-over-year basis. But attention to detail, allowed the company to show an impressive uptick in second quarter profitability.
For the three months ending 31 July 2020, revenues were $175.9 million, down 18.2% compared to $215.1 million for three months ending 31 July 2019.
Net earning for the period were $19.6 million or 57 cents per share, compared to the corresponding period’s $13.5 million or 39 cents per share – a 46% gain on a per share basis.
For the six months also ending 31 July 2020, revenue was $276.4 million, down 24.3% from the $365.4 million rung-up for the first half last year.
However, net earnings fell to $7.2 million or 21 cents per share, compared to $10.0 million or 29 cents per share a year ago – a decline of 27% on a per share basis.
In her report to shareholders, BMTC president and chief executive officer Marie-Berthe Des Groseillers attributed the decline in accumulative sales and earnings for the first half of the current fiscal year – which ends 31 January 2021 – to the pandemic, which has crippled the Canadian economy for the past several months.
“The company’s first and second quarters of 2020 delivered strong operational results, despite the negative financial impact of COVID-19,” she said. “The decrease in revenues during the first (half) was totally due to the temporary physical store closures. During this second quarter the company was able to re-open all 32 points of sale. To mitigate the loss of revenues during the closure, the company proactively aligned its cost structure accordingly.
These steps were taken through out the first semester to protect the company’s viability and preserve its working capital during these highly uncertain times,” she continued. “Thanks to these new measures the company was able to produce positive operating results. This new cost structure will remain effective throughout the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year.”
However, she did note that during the period between mid-March and early May – when most of the stores were closed – BMTC’s online sales increased significantly, although no firm dollar volumes were reports. “Despite this significant increase, the online sales only partially compensated for in-store sales for the 2019 corresponding period,” Des Groseillers added.
She also estimated government-imposed store closures produced an estimated revenue decrease totally some $77 million for the first half of BMTC’s current fiscal year.
Once all stores re-opened, BMTC saw in-store sales for the month of May increase between 45% and 65% when compared to the corresponding weeks pf 2019. “This increase, however, has slowed down in recent weeks to stabilize to comparable results to the 2019 period,” she said, adding, “In addition, online sales continued to increase significantly during this period compared to the corresponding period of 2019.”
BMTC operates 32 stores in Quebec under three banners including Brault & Martineau, EconoMax and Ameublesment Tanguay.