API has reported strong growth spearheaded by its retail business, Priceline Pharmacy.
Comparable store growth of 6% places Priceline among the best performing listed retailers, says API chairman Stephen Roche.
Priceline achieved this with a top line sales growth at 11.1% and 27 new stores, with high brand recognition, consumer consideration as a health and beauty destination and appealing stores contributing to it. Online sales increased by 180%, monthly page views rose by 7.4 million, social media fans rose by 67% and their engagement levels are up by 121%, Mr Roche has told this week’s AGM to API shareholders.
The pharmacy side of the business achieved an underlying growth of 11%, excluding the effect of PBS reforms. In real terms, growth was still 3.9% or $90m in revenue. Efficiencies across the supply chain have dropped average cost per unit by 7% in the last financial year, he says.
Overall, API delivers revenue growth of 5.7% and keeps operating costs in check with growth of only 2.4%. The underlying profit after tax was up 32.5% to $31.7m. There is a net debt reduction to $184.8m at the year end, down from $201m. The cash conversion cycle has improved 14% over the year and the underlying return on funds employed has improved from 7.98% to 11.22%, says Mr Roche.
The company also announced that it is investing $42m into the OneERP program (data management IT solution) and is confident it will deliver significant efficiencies that will provide payback in the next six years, he says.
Roche says investing in training the next generation of leaders has contributed to the positive financial results. API distribution centres also recorded a drop of 11% in Lost Time Injuries in the last financial year.