Shares in the owner of fashion store Katies are on a tear

Wendell Teodoro/WireImage

Shares in Specialty Fashion Group — the owner of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, City Chic and Rivers — soared.

At the close, they were up 12.8% to $0.22.

There was no official announcement to explain the rise.

However, a year ago the company’s shares rose when it came under offer from a Middle Eastern investment company.

The Specialty Fashion Group, like many bricks and mortar retailers, is operating under difficult conditions and is expecting first half earnings to be flat.

The company is in the middle of cutting stores numbers by about 300 to 700.

The company’s profits have been dragged down since it bought Rivers, the warehouse-style clothing retailer, in 2013.

In 2017, its net loss after tax was $8.4 million. Revenue was down 2.1% to $808.91 million but Rivers returned to profitability,

Clothing retailers in Australia have been hit hard by pressure from emerging digital competitors and weak market conditions.

Last year Topshop, Topman, Marcs and David Lawrence all went into voluntary administration.

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