On the other side of the world, Bunnings posts gains

The Australian home improvement and outdoor living retailer Bunnings posted revenue growth of 5.8% in the first half of the year.

Bunnings competes in Australia with Masters home improvement stores, a joint venture of Lowe's and Woolworths.

For the six months ended Dec. 31, Bunnings grew its operating revenue by 5.8% to A$4.0 billion (US$4.11 billion). Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in the same period were A$518 million (US $531.9 million), equating to an increase of 6.8% over the prior corresponding period. 

Total store sales increased 6.0% as comparable-store sales increased 3.4%, the company reported.

"Day-to-day trading outcomes were pleasing and the outlook is promising with further growth expected in consumer and commercial markets," said John Gillam, managing director of the Bunnings Group. "Our focus on value for customers, enhancements to service and services, as well as more merchandising innovation will help drive future growth." 

He added that the retailer will accelerate the opening of its large format warehouse stores. 

At the end of December 2012, Bunnings operated a network of 211 Bunnings Warehouse stores, 62 smaller-format Bunnings stores and 37 Bunnings Trade Centres across Australia and New Zealand.