Strong NZ sales boost Hallenstein Glasson

23:12, Aug 14 2013

Hallenstein Glasson has boosted its first-half net profit by 15 per cent to $10.4 million, with strong performances across its brands in New Zealand and outweighing a poor showing from Glassons in Australia.

But the NZX-listed fashion retailer said second-half sales so far were down 1 per cent year-on-year, with record warm temperatures in both countries making it difficult to sell winter stock.

Group sales for the six months ending February 1 were $115.7m - up 6.6 per cent year-on-year.

Net profit at menswear chain Hallensteins rose 21 per cent to $5.1m on a 6 per cent lift in sales. Same-store sales rose 8 per cent.

In a statement to the NZX, Hallenstein Glasson chief executive Graeme Popplewell said Hallensteins continued to reposition its brand and that was delivering dividends.

Glassons in New Zealand increased net profit almost 13 per cent year-on-year to $4.6m, with total and same-store sales both up 2 per cent.

Storm - a womenswear chain for more fashion-conscious shoppers - drove net profit up almost 73 per cent to $822,000, on a 39 per cent boost in sales. Same-store sales were up 27 per cent.

Popplewell said it would open its first Australian Storm store in Melbourne later this year.

The Australian market - where there are only Glassons - had been a challenge, he said.

Sales at Glassons Australia rose 13 per cent but same-store sales slipped 1 per cent. The division made a net loss of $600,000, following a $204,000 loss the previous first half.

"Sales over the December-January period did not meet expectations," he said.

"Given the positive growth we achieved earlier in the year this was disappointing, however, we remain positive about our future in this market."

The Glassons Australia result included a $500,000 hit for store-relocation and restructuring, he said.

Online sales continued to grow strongly and the group remained focused on investing and emphasising the sales channel.

Popplewell said second-half sales had begun to recover as the cooler weather set in. The group was not expecting the retail environment to show any significant uplift and was working on the premise that conditions would remain competitive.

The group declared an interim dividend of 16 cents per share, up from 14.5c in the previous first-half. Its shares last traded at $5.52 on the NZX, up 38 per cent on a year ago.