Hallenstein Glasson boosted by online revenue

hallenstein glassonClothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings has lifted net profit 26 per cent in the 2017 year as online sales continued to grow.

Sales rose to $239 million in the 12 months to August, from $223.5m a year earlier, the Auckland-based retailer said on Thursday.

Net profit was $17.3m, ahead of $13.7m the prior year, and within the $17m to $17.5m band it gave in August.

The retailer’s fortunes have improved after profit fell by a fifth last year as a decline in the kiwi dollar made imports more expensive, squeezing its margins, while its women’s clothing chain Glassons struggled.

New chief executive Mark Goddard took over at the helm in mid-April, replacing long-serving Graeme Popplewell who ended 46 years at the company.

Goddard says a new buying strategy, focus on cost control and a favourable exchange rate led to the profit increase.

The board declared a 17 cents per share final dividend, up from last year’s 16.5 cents, bringing the annual payout to 31.5 cents per share.

Goddard said online sales grew 44 per cent in the year, much faster than brick and mortar stores, and now account for 9 per cent of total turnover.

In New Zealand, Glassons sales rose 7.2 per cent to $89.5m, although the second half was not as strong as the first half.

During the year a new store was opened in Christchurch CBD and one underperforming store in Glenfield was closed.

Earlier this month, Glassons CEO Di Humphries resigned and a search is currently underway to find her replacement.

In Australia, Glassons sales gained 22 per cent to $50m, which the company said came despite “a particularly tough market for retail” in the country.

Hallenstein Brothers sales across New Zealand and Australia rose 1.9 per cent to $91.1m.

Sales dropped 11 per cent to $8.3m in the retailer’s Storm brand.

The shares last traded at $3.18 and have gained 4.4 per cent this year.

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