Based on the first 24 weeks of the financial year, Premier Retail expects its first half earnings to land between $221 million and $233 million. This is a 75 per cent to 85 per cent increase on the same period of 2020, which saw Premier earn $126.1 million.
According to the business online sales have continued to accelerate, up 60 per cent on last year at $146.2 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.”
Premier Retail operates The Just Group, Smiggle, Portmans, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Jacqui.E, and Dotti.
The Australian business has seen like-for-like sales growth of 26.2 per cent, while the global figure rose 18 per cent. Global sales for the 24 week period have grown by 5 per cent to $716.9 million.
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, and while it was eligible for the first round of JobKeeper, it isn’t receiving JobKeeper 2.0.
Premier expects to release the final first-half figures in late March.