Based on the first 24 weeks of the financial year, Premier Retail expects its first half earnings to land between $237 million and $250 million. This is a 75 per cent to 85 per cent increase on the same period of 2020, which saw Premier earn $135 million.
According to the business online sales have continued to accelerate, up 60 per cent on last year at $157 million, contributing 20.4 per cent of the total group sales. But despite the strong growth, Premier chairman Solomon Lew said the business’ greatest priority has remained its team and customer’s safety.
“The challenges posed by Covid-19 are the greatest set of risks I have ever seen in more than six decades in retail,” Lew said.
“During the first half we had rolling lockdowns and shutdowns in multiple countries all at a moment’s notice… [The team’s] dedication, skill and commitment are evident in [these] record-breaking results.”
The business said it had seen significant sales and gross margin growth in a number of its brands across New Zealand and Australia, with global sales for the 24 week period growing by 5 per cent to $770 million.
Premier Retail operates The Just Group, Smiggle, Portmans, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Jacqui.E, and Dotti.
During the period the business said it continued to pay over 1,200 staff full-time and part-time team members when stores were shuttered.
Premier expects to release the final first-half figures in late March.