Myer profits drop -20% as company appoints new director

Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) made two big announcements on Thursday: a drop of almost nearly 20% in its net profit after tax (NPAT), and the appointment of former Qantas executive Olivia Wirth as executive chair, replacing Ari Mervis.

In its half year 2024 results, Myer acknowledged “challenging macro trading conditions” as having impacted the company, with results contrasting sharply with a 1HFY23 marked by record sales performance.

Myer’s NPAT dropped to $52 million from $65 million in the first half of 2024, a decline of 19.9%, and its EBITDA fell 10.4% from $240.7 million to $215.7 million in the same period.

Lower sales were also reported for the period, having dropped 3% to $1,829 million (from $1,885 million), although Myer pointed out an increase from $1,606 million in the first half of 2020.

The results were partly put down to store closures, notably that of Brisbane, where Myer decided not to extend its lease beyond July 2023.

On the same day however, the company announced a reshuffle in its board, appointing Ms Wirth – formerly CEO of Qantas Loyalty and member of the airline’s Group Management Committee from 2010 – to the position of executive chair.

The incumbent chair, Ari Mervis, also announced his retirement from the board, while Gary Weiss stepped up as deputy chair and lead independent director, a new role which Myer had created to enhance governance.

Mr Weiss had previously been the company’s independent non-executive director.

Myer CEO and managing director John King said Ms Wirth would be an asset to the company as it pursued future growth.

“Olivia’s appointment is a great outcome for Myer’s customers, team members, brand partners and shareholders,” he said.

“I have worked closely with Olivia since she joined the Board and I have been deeply impressed with her hands-on approach, commitment to our loyal customers and support for the team.

“I believe Myer has an exciting future with the Board’s appointment of Olivia as Executive Chair.”

The market seemed comfortable with the dual reports, with Myer stock continuing its rise from Wednesday, reaching 86 cents at the end of Thursday’s trading, then dipping slightly.

Myer is currently trading at 85c.

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