Solomon Lew's Premier Investments smashes profit again

Designs by Peter Alexander. Lucas Dawson/MSFW via Getty Images

Growth from high margin brands Peter Alexander and Smiggle helped Premier Investments, headed by retail industry veteran Solomon Lew, to a half year profit of $71.5 million, a 25.9% increase.

Total sales at the company, which also has Just Jeans, Portmans, Dotti, Jay Jays and Jacquie-E, were up 15.1% to $565.0 million. Like-for-like sales rose 6.9%.

The company is a stand out among Australian retailers, growing sales where others struggle. The latest result puts Premier Investments on track for a record full year result. Last year it lifted profit 20.7% to $88.1 million for the full 12 months.

Sales at Smiggle, the kids’ stationery chain, were up 46.5%, and designer sleepwear brand Peter Alexander was up 22.5%. Portmans had sales growth of 18.9%.

In the UK, Smiggle is trading ahead of expectations with 18 new store openings in the six months, bringing the total to 42 stores. The target is for 70 stores by the end of July and 100 by Christmas this year. The first stores in Malaysia and Hong Kong open in April and May.

Solomon Lew, the chairman, says sales growth is strong both in store and online.

“We are delighting our customers across all of our brands,” he says.

“All of our seven brands delivered positive like for like sales growth, demonstrating the strength of our customer offer in each market.”

Premier Retail’s online sales grew 47.7%, well ahead of market growth of 7.1%.

The company declared a fully franked dividend of 23 cents a share, up 2 cents.

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