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Signs of resurgent retail sector after Premier Investments reports sales boom


Retailer Premier Investment’s first-half earnings have increased by between 75 and 85 per cent as online sales surged by more than $50 million.

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The announcement led to a spike in Premier’s shares of 15 per cent in mid-morning trade.

The group, headed by Solomon Lew, said its earnings before interest and tax for the 27-week period would range between $221 million and $233 million.

The result follows the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week of particularly strong retail trading data for November. The data showed national sales were up 7 per cent as Victoria ended its lockdowns. Queensland performed strongly with a rise of 4.5 per cent.

Premier, which owns brands that include Just Jeans, Portmans,  PeterAlexander, Jay Jays and Smiggle, said online sales had continued to accelerate in the half year.

“For the first 24 weeks of (the first half) online sales were $146.2 million, which is up $54.8 million or 60 per cent on the same period last year and contributed 20.4 per cent of total group sales,” the company said.

“Premier Retail’s online sales deliver significantly higher EBIT margin than the EBIT margin of the retail store network.”

During the half, Premier was hit by lockdowns which meant store closures in Melbourne, regional Victoria, Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane.  Internationally,  it currently has been hit with closures in the UK, Ireland and Malaysia.

It said although it was able to receive the first round of the JobKeeper subsidy, it was offset by enforced store closures in Victoria for most of the first quarter.

It was not eligible for the second round of JobKeeper.

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