Premier Investments Profit Results

Submitted by Share Trading on 23 March, 2010 - 06:15

Solomon Lew's Premier Investments (PMV, yesterday, reported a 13.7 percent fall in first-half profit to $42.44 million for the 27 weeks to January 30 as company revenue rose 6.3 per cent to $483.99 million. Just Group, which takes in seven fashion retail chains including Just Jeans, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Dotti and Smiggle, recorded a 7.7 percent rise in pre-tax and interest earnings to $60.3 million with pre-tax profit up 12.3 per cent to $56.3 million. However, Portmans sales fell 18.5 percent while Jacqui E fell 6.9 percent.

The company also announced a fully franked interim dividend of 38 cents a share which is composed of an 18 cent ordinary dividend and a 20 cent special dividend per share. Jason Murray, Managing Driector of Just Group, said that Portmans faces competition from department stores, Country Road, Witchery, Sportsgirl and four-year-old newcomer Forever New as it straddles several markets. While Jacqui E faced heavy discounting by competitors.

There were still issues to be resolved before Spanish chain Zara, whose Australian rights are privately held by the Lew family, could make its long-awaited local debut, Mr Lew said. "Zara has had difficulty in producing for the southern hemisphere and I understand that when they get that right they'll open here," Mr Lew said. Zara's Australian business is in the hands of Mr Lew's son, Peter, who turned around fashion chain Witchery before selling it to private equity outfit Gresham for $130 million in 2006. "It's his ball - it's in his court," Mr Lew said.

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