Solomon Lew's Premier Investments is getting walloped

Photo: Arif Ali / AFP / Getty Images

Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments continues to face selling pressure, a day after announcing its full-year results.

The fashion retail business, which owns brands such as Smiggle, Just Jean, Portmans and Peter Alexander, and is run by former DJs CEO Mark McInnes, saw its shares drop 2.5% drop yesterday following the 2017 full-year earnings presentation announcing a small 1.2% rise in net profit to $105.1 million.

A short time ago, shares in Premier Investments were down another 4.33% in afternoon trade:

The share price has now given back most its September gains after starting the month at $12.5 and reaching a high of $13.75 on Friday.

Total sales for Premier Retail were up 5.7% to $1.1 billion, but like-for-like sales were only 1.1% higher. Dividends for the year were a full franked 53 cents, up 10.4%.

Children’s stationery chain Smiggle was again the standout performer, with record sales of $238.9 million, up 28.81% over the 12 months.

Speaking to investors and the media following yesterday’s results, Lew went on the offensive against Myer — the company in which Premier bought a strategic 10% stake in March — telling the AFR that Myer had misled investors before issuing a profit downgrade in July.

The company’s $101 million investment in Myer is now only worth around $67 million following a continuing slide in the share price this year.

While Premier’s share price has taken a dive over the last two sessions, there were some bright spots in yesterday’s result.

Smiggle continues to expand, with plans to open its first stores in continental Europe in 2018, starting with the Netherlands and Belgium. The Smiggle global business plans to deliver in more than $400 million in revenue by 2020.

The other standout brand was sleepwear retailer Peter Alexander with sales growth of 14% to $190.9 million. And the group’s online online sales were up 44.3% to $68.1 million.

Just Jean sales were up 1.5% to $216.4 million, but Jay Jays was down 1.6% to $158.9 million, Dotti down 3.6% to $110.4 million, Jacqui E down 6.2% to $65.7 million, and Portmans dropped 8.6% to $111.5 million.

“It was a very strong performance despite the very difficult retail conditions,” Lew said.

The company says high household debt, out-of-cycle mortgage rate hikes, subdued wages growth and soaring energy prices are all putting pressure on household discretionary spending.

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