Noni B cashes in on Christmas with upbeat outlook

Noni B cashes in on Christmas with upbeat outlook
NONI B (ASX: NBL) has defied the "doom and gloom" outlook for the retail industry, saying it is expected to post a rise in first half FY18 underlying earnings of 50 per cent to $22 million compared to the same period last year.

The ladies fashion retailer issued a trading update and revealed its total first-half sales grew by three per cent on a like-for-like store basis to $190 million, while its network grew from 614 to 642 stores throughout the period.

Noni B becomes the second retailer to upgrade guidance this year, following Lovisa's positive update last week of a 19 per cent increase in sales in the six months to December 2017.

Noni B says its positive performance was achieved by solid sales leading up to, and through, the key Christmas trading period and notes that some important trading periods will help sales in the second half, including Mothers' Day.

The group also grew its online sales to 4.9 per cent of revenue.

Noni B will release its statutory first half FY18 results on 28 February.

The company was founded by Noni Broadbent in the 1960's and has grown from two stores in Newcastle to more than 600 in the group around Australia. 

At around 11.45 (AEST), NBL shares were trading up by more than 5 per cent to $2.00.

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