SYDNEY, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Myer Holdings Ltd, Australia’s biggest department store chain, posted a 9 percent fall in full-year profit on Thursday, missing analysts’ expectations, as the retailer was affected by labour cost pressures, depreciation charges and store refurbishments.
“We remain cautious about the year ahead given the challenges of the economic outlook and consumer confidence,” said the company in a statement.
Myer, whose shares have consistently traded below their 2009 initial public offering price, said its net profit fell to A$127.2 million ($118.5 million) in the fiscal year ended July 27, from A$139.4 million a year earlier.
The result was lower than the average forecast by analysts for A$131.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
Australian retail sales have shown signs of life in recent months after a series of interest rate cuts. Myer shares have jumped by a third this year, beating a 13 percent gain in the broader index, while those of rival David Jones Ltd have risen 23 percent.
But the sector has been challenged by a shift towards online shopping. Myer and David Jones are also facing increasing competition from global rivals such as Zara, Topshop and Gap Inc, which are expanding in Australia. ($1 = 1.0735 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)