MELBOURNE, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Myer Holdings Ltd, Australia’s largest department store chain, reported a better-than-expected rise in its first quarter sales as warmer weather encouraged summer clothing purchases and it offered smaller discounts on sale items.
Myer Chief Executive Officer Bernie Brookes said the quarter benefited from a modest improvement in consumer sentiment but Myer continued to be cautious about the trading environment.
Myer did not provide sales or profit guidance.
Same-store sales rose 0.8 percent in the 13 weeks to Oct. 27. That bettered forecasts for a 0.4 percent rise in a Reuters survey of six analysts, in which forecasts ranged from a fall of 0.9 percent to a rise of 2.0 percent.
Myer’s total sales, including from two newly opened stores, rose 1 percent to A$688 million.
Australia’s economy, helped by a once-in-a-century mining boom, has withstood the global slowdown better than most, but its strong currency is encouraging shoppers wielding tablet computers and smartphones to hunt down bargains overseas.
Australian retailers are having to offer discounts to keep up, a situation made harder by relatively high interest rates and falling or flat home and share values. (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by John Mair)