Peter Alexander owner gets profit boost
The retail company that owns fashion chains Just Jeans, Jacqui E, and Portmans in New Zealand and Australia has increased first-half pre-tax profit almost 15 per cent to A$52.6 million ($66 million).
Sales for Premier Retail, which is part of ASX-listed Premier Investments and also includes Jay Jays, Dotti, pyjama chain Peter Alexander, and stationery chain Smiggle, rose 2.5 per cent to A$444.7m.
The company said the result was helped by the "very strong" performance of Peter Alexander in New Zealand, while first-half online sales across the company's brands increased 51 per cent year-on-year.
Same-store sales slipped off slightly - by just under 1 per cent.
The company is enjoying growth from its younger, "innovative" brands Peter Alexander and Smiggle, while working to rejuvenate its core retail brands - Just Jeans, Portmans, Jacqui E, Dotti and Jay Jays - which have all recorded annual sales declines.
Sales at Peter Alexander in New Zealand and Australia rose almost 17 per cent to A$51.5m.
The chain's eight stores in New Zealand, where the brand was "well-accepted and growing", had performed very well, it said.
Sales at stationery chain Smiggle rose 12.4 per cent to A$54.1m.
Sales at Dotti and Portmans also lifted in the period, but Just Jeans, Jay Jays and Jacqui E all saw sales fall.
Gross margin grew to 62.8 per cent, from 61.6 per cent in the previous first-half, thanks to cheaper product-sourcing and the stronger Australian dollar.
Premier Retail chief executive Mark McInnes said second-half trading so far was within its expectations.
The company would continue to invest in technology, brands, store fitouts, service and marketing, he said.
Parent company Premier Investments reported first-half net profit of A$46.5m, up almost 21 per cent year-on-year.