Smiggle heads to UK


smiggleClothing group, Premier Investments, has more than doubled its full year profit, but it expects retail conditions to remain challenging in Australia.

The retailer is also planning to open stores in the UK next year, selling its Smiggle brand of children’s school stationery and watches, and expand its Peter Alexander pyjama range.

Premier chairman, Solomon Lew, said the company would focus on its top performing brands in the year ahead, as the group’s Jay Jays and Just Jeans casual fashion brands struggled.

“The retail environment in Australia remains challenging, however we continue to adapt by rejuvenating our core brands, growing uniquely positioned brands like Peter Alexander and seeking opportunities for further offshore expansion of Smiggle,” he said.

The group’s net profit after tax rose to $174.5 million in the year to July 27, up from $68.3 million during the corresponding period in 2011 and 2012.

But the result included a one off $105.2 million after tax reclassification, to account for Premier’s investment in kitchen appliances maker, Breville, from early March.

Premier has announced plans to open its first Smiggle store in the UK from February, with up to eight planned in fiscal 2014, following a 14.5 per cent sales increase for the kids’ label during the full year.

The Peter Alexander line posted a 17.7 per cent sales increase in the same period, compared with 2.5 per cent rise for the Portmans women’s wear range and a 7.3 per cent rise for the Dotti dress range.

The Jay Jays youth fashion brand, however, suffered an 11.1 per cent sales drop, while Just Jeans sales slid by 3.3 per cent as Jacqui E ladies wear sales fell by 2.3 per cent.

Premier shares fell 15 cents, or 1.79 per cent, to $8.23 at 1121 AEST.



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