Christmas sales point to a positive future - January 2011

Mark Spring January 17, 2011 : 0

Last week we released our Christmas sales figures and compared them to the same period last year as well as looking at the year-on-year comparison. The results were very positive, especially when put into the context of how the retail sector in general has struggled in recent times. For example, the October-December period in 2010 was up 8% in terms of sales, when pitted against October-December 2009. We are delighted to be on target for the 40% rise in Earnings Before Tax and Interest (EBIT) that we set ourselves before the start of the current financial year. But rather than just talking about the figures themselves, I’d like to put forward my suggestions as to why our business is doing well. Here are a couple of the reasons I mentioned to the journalists I spoke to recently.

We believe there is a big swing right now towards relationship-based service. It’s important to have staff that can connect and build relationships with customers because that this is a massive reason why people keep coming back to dtr. This is why we have focused on giving individual stores the autonomy and ability to become a significant presence in their communities.

Making staff feel part of something important. We don’t want working for dtr to just be a job; it should mean a little more than that. One way we have shown our respect and appreciation for staff is through the Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP). Through this scheme, we allocated the effective value of 15% of dtr to staff. Over the following three years (2006-2009) these shares went up in value from $1 to $1.48. This increase in value has been paid out to staff, which is something we will continue to do as we grow the business.

Finally, setting ambitious growth targets has been fundamental to our recent success. The aim of the initial three year plan was to achieve $3 million in EBIT. dtr achieved $2.5 million despite the Global Financial Crisis and the new three year plan is to reach a 15% return on operating assets to improve the quality of the firm’s profitability as it continues to grow strongly.

These are just three factors that I believe have been important in the growth of dtr. If you have any similar stories to share, I’d love to hear them

In the meantime, here is the link to the coverage on the NZ Herald Online.

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