Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

The biannual Myer profit announcement is more than just a six-month update on the success or failure of managements attempts to turn around the underperforming department store retailer.
Traditionally it is major shareholder and nemesis Solomon Lews opportunity to grab a microphone and seize on Myers underperformance to bolster his campaign to jettison the board.
But there wasnt a peep from Lew on Thursday.
There is next to no chance he has abandoned his Myer ambitions. The billionaire retailer has made Myer his mission.
Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew plays his cards close to his chest.Credit:Eddie Jim
Late last year Lew successfully skewered his largest Myer target, the then-chairman Garry Hounsell, and declared that the remaining board members and the chief executive, John King, were in his sights.
Its no wonder that four months on Myers three remaining non- executive directors have not announced a replacement for Hounsell and that JoAnne Stephenson remains in the acting-chairman position.
Lews decision not to publicly eviscerate King and whats left of the board comes despite the fact there were various disappointing elements to Myers half-year result on Thursday. The market appeared to be underwhelmed – if the 10 per cent fall in the share price was an accurate reflection of investor expectations.
It is hard to get a proper read on what retail analysts think. The companys market capitalisation is less than $250 million so the big broking firms generally dont pay too much attention.
The good news is that Myer managed to book a profit of more than 8 per cent thanks in large part to government job subsidies and rent waivers. It also cut a swathe through costs and pulled capital expenditure back to a trickle.