The children’s stationery chain Smiggle and sleepwear brand Peter Alexander helped push Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments to a record full year results, including a profit of $103.87 million, a 17.9% rise on the previous year.
The company is a stand out among Australian retailers, growing sales where others struggle. Sales were up 10% to $1.058 billion, passing the $1 billion mark for the first time. Like-for-like sales grew 3.5%.
Despite the result, the company’s shares fell 2% to $16.11.
Lew, the chairman, says the result demonstrates success of a strategy to drive growth through Smiggle, Peter Alexander and the company’s online presence.
The company also runs Just Jeans, Portmans, Dotti, Jay Jays and Jacquie-E.
CEO Mark McInnes says his first class team delivered record sales.
“Our strategy is unchanged and we continue to pursue it relentlessly — investing in expanding Smiggle globally, growing Peter Alexander significantly and delivering a superior online experience for our customers while achieving efficiencies and continuing to invest in our core apparel businesses,” McInnes says.
Smiggle, with stores now in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, England, Scotland, Wales, Malaysia and Hong Kong, saw sales grow 41.8% to $188 million for the year.
Sales have grown from $19 million in 2008, as this chart shows:
Designer sleepwear brand Peter Alexander grew sales 20.4% to $169.1 million, driven by the opening of 11 new stores.
Online sales increased by 39.6%.
Premier Retail’s gross margin for the year was 63.9%, up 78 basis points on last year despite a weaker Australian dollar.
The company declared a fully franked dividend of 25 cents a share, bringing the full year payout to 48 cents, up from 42 cents the year before.