The group also operates Australian high street brand Dotti.

SYDNEY-Australian specialty retail group Premier Investments Limited posted a record profit and broke the billion Australian dollar sales mark for the first time in 2016, the company announced Thursday.

For the year to July 30 2016, the Melbourne-based company’s net profit grew 18 percent to 103.9 million Australian dollars or $79 million at average exchange for the period, coming in under market expectations.

Premier Investments shares slumped around eight percent in morning trade, before recovering slightly.

Sales grew 10.9 percent to 1.05 billion Australian dollars or $794 million, with like for like sales up 3.5 percent across the group, which operates over 1,000 stores in six markets under seven retail brands. Online sales grew 39.6 percent.

Underlying EBITDA grew 26.1 percent to 133.3 million or $101 million.

Premium sleep wear brand Peter Alexander opened 11 new stores across Australia and New Zealand, with sales growing 20.4 percent to 169.1 million Australian dollars or $128 million.

Fashion stationery brand Smiggle opened 52 new stores over the course of the year – including 40 in the United Kingdom and five in Malaysia and Hong Kong – with global sales growing 41.8 percent to 188 million Australian dollars, or $142 million.

“The Premier Retail team, led by Premier Retail CEO Mark McInnes, has again delivered a very strong performance in a difficult retail environment” said Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew.

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