Sales increased 16 per cent in the first 19 weeks of the year compared with the year-earlier period, signalling net trading profit over the summer period through to February 1, 2018, could be more than 50 per cent ahead of the prior period, chief executive Mark Goddard and chair Warren Bell said.
They were speaking before the company’s annual meeting Wednesday.
“The sales performance has come from our improved buying strategy, focus on speed, fashion, and our customers. This, in turn, has led to the strong growth in gross profit, ” Goddard said.
“Additionally, we continue to have strong cost controls in place.”
The retailer said its profitability is improving as it sells more products at full price and reduces its levels of promotions and discounts.
It is focusing on delivering new seasonal fashion quickly, and moving away from traditional marketing in favour of digital and social channels and influencer events, with web sales now making up 12 per cent of sales, up from 9 per cent in the 2017 financial year.
He said that over the past 12 months, the retailer has opened six new stores, renovated four, and closed six stores “as we continue to review and refine our store fleet to ensure we are in the best current, as well as future, locations for our customers”.
“Across the group, we now have 123 physical stores together with exceptionally strong and aggressively growing web stores,” he said.
Its shares jumped 5.3 per cent to $3.61.