MELBOURNE fast fashion retailer Premier Investments (ASX: PMV) has bucked the flagging retail sales trend and is expecting record first half sales.
The company owns Richmond headquartered The Just Group, which holds brands including Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Jacqui E and Dotti. It also has a 25.7 per cent stake in Breville Group.
In light of speculation around earnings risk for Australian retailers and flat December sales figures from the ABS, today Premier Investments announced to the ASX that its sales are expected to total approximately $588.6 million for the half. This will be a 7.1 per cent increase on first half 2016.
Its earnings before interest and taxes are also on the rise, with the company expecting to take in between $92 and $93 million. Last year's comparable period measured at $84.1 million.
Both figures would break records for the company. They are still subject to auditors.
The market update included limited detail about which brands were driving growth.
Premier Investments reports its earnings on Tuesday 21 March.
Premier Investments was trading at around $14 at midday, its shares also reflecting a 12 per cent intraday price rise.
Just yesterday, Rhodes and Beckett and Herringbone became the latest Australian retailers to be placed in voluntary administration. Last week Marcs and David Lawrence met a similar fate.
Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman, says Australia's retail sector is fiercly competing for a relatively slowly growing pie of retail turnover.
"What we are seeing across the industry is that the pie is growing, but there are more chewing out of the same pie," he says.
Zimmerman says rising wages, penalty rates, and shopping centre rental agreements are also putting pressure on retailers, as is the fluctuating AUD/USD exchange rate.
Business News Australia
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