SYDNEY — Shares in Premier Investments surged 11.1 percent in Monday trading after the company reported a 9 percent profit rise for the first half of 2015.
The shares ended the day at 12.54 Australian dollars, or $9.74.
The Melbourne-based specialty retailer, parent of Just Jeans, reported net profits after tax of 56.8 million Australian dollars, or $45.3 million at average exchange for the 26 weeks ended Jan. 24, up 9.1 percent on the previous corresponding period.
Sales in the period came to 490.8 million Australian dollars, or $391.3million, up 4.8 percent. Like-for-like sales improved 1.1 percent across the group, with five of its seven brands experiencing positive growth.
Online sales delivered growth of 23 percent for the half and 29.5 percent for the past 12 months — nearly five times the NAB Online Retail Sales Index’s fashion industry average of 6.6 percent in the year to January — while fashion stationery brand Smiggle and sleepwear brand Peter Alexander grew 18.9 percent and 14.6 percent respectively and between them accounted for 18 of the group’s 28 new stores opened in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. during the period.
EBIT amounted to 70 million Australian dollars, or $56 million, up 13.8 percent while EBIT margin was up 112 basis points to 14.3 percent.
Premier declared an interim dividend of 21 Australian cents per share, or $0.17, as well a special dividend of nine cents per share, or $0.07.
“This is an excellent result in a challenging market in which consumer confidence remains volatile. Management has achieved top line sales growth, disciplined cost management and continued margin expansion” said Premier chairman Solomon Lew in a statement.