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Fashion Offering A Hit On Both Sides Of Tasman

March 22, 2006

Fashion Offering A Hit On Both Sides Of Tasman

Hallenstein Glasson Lifts Profit and Dividend

Trading success on both sides of the Tasman resulted in a “stellar performance” for fashion retailer Hallenstein Glasson who have announced a lift in unaudited after tax operating profit of 28.7% to $10.9 million for the six months ending February 1, 2006.

Turnover lifted 10.5% to $100.173 million.

Directors have approved an interim, fully imputed dividend of 17 cents, up 4 cents (21%) on last year’s interim dividend.

“This extremely strong half year result builds on the 20% trading profit growth achieved in the 2005 financial year and the 41% growth in 2004,” said Mr Bell.

“What it underlines is that our garment ranges are meeting the fashion demands of Australians and New Zealanders, and our ability to respond quickly to positive or adverse trading conditions caused by economic or seasonal fluctuations.

“This was demonstrated by our ability to achieve strong growth last year with the late arrival of summer, yet take full advantage of this year’s early arrival of good weather.

“Group sales for the first six weeks of the new financial half have not shown evidence of any significant downturn in retail spending, however we view the current domestic economy with some caution.

Group Managing Director Cliff Kinraid said that over the past five consecutive six-month periods the company had demonstrated the ability to “bring the right product to market at the right time at the right price”.

The 77 stores in New Zealand provided the backbone to the Group’s financial performance.

Sales in New Zealand were up 8.1% at $86.9 million, and operating profit increased by 23.8% to $10.3 million.

“Our 20 Australian women’s fashion stores in New South Wales and Victoria have now firmly established their credibility, and accelerated their sales contribution,” said Mr Kinraid.

“Sales in Australia increased by 29.7% to $13.3 million, and now account for 13% of total sales of $100.2 million, up 10.5%. Last year Australian sales accounted for 11% of total sales.

“More significantly, Australian operations generated a net after tax profit of $553,000, against last year’s profit of $114,000, and our Australian business has now reported four consecutive six-month periods of profits.

“During the six months we opened two additional stores in Sydney, and one in Melbourne. We also closed a small clearance store in Sydney. In the second sixth-month period we have plans to open at least a further two, the first of these opening late March 2006.

“Last week we also launched our first store for a new chain ‘Storm’. Storm targets what we see as a gap in the mainstream women’s apparel market between the volume fashion retailers and the high end designer boutiques.”

“Storm will offer cool and edgy garments at a price the consumer wouldn’t expect.

“It will market its garments through its own boutique stores, initially two outlets, one in Teed Street, Newmarket, Auckland and the other in High Street, Christchurch. Further stores will be added as the concept is evolved. ”

The interim dividend will be paid on April 21, 2006 to shareholders on the register at close on business April 13, 2006. In addition, a supplementary dividend of 3 cents per share will be payable to shareholders not resident in New Zealand for tax purposes.

ENDS

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