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Premier Investments profit almost doubles despite 50,000 lost days

Premier Investments has almost doubled its profit in FY21 to $271.8 million, with earnings hitting a record figure of $351.9 million – up 88 per cent.

Sales in the retail group rose 18.7 per cent to $1.4 billion worldwide, with online contributing a record 20.8 per cent of global sales.

Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew said it was an outstanding achievement to have delivered record results during a “very difficult and volatile environment”.

“For 52 of the 53 trading weeks during the 2021 financial year, Premier faced temporary store closures across our global store network due to government mandated closures,” Lew said.

“On average, 176 stores were forced into temporary closures in any given week during the year. This resulted in 50,581 lost retail store trading days during FY21.”

The group said it exited 46 stores in the last year due to untenable leases, a far cry from the 350 it warned it was considering cutting last year.

Sleepwear brand Peter Alexander delivered $100 million in sales growth throughout the year, with total contributed sales hitting $388.2 million, while its apparel brands – Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Dotti, and Jacqui E – collectively contributed $841.6 million.

Stationery brand Smiggle saw a less impressive year, however, with Premier calling it a “powerful global brand” that is “starting to rebound”. Premier didn’t specify Smiggle’s sales figures, but said they were 39 per cent higher than last year.

Much of Smiggle’s business comes from children attending school and the allure of ‘back to school’ sales – something that is not currently a given in many countries. However, as children return to the classroom in the year ahead Premier is expecting the business to return to growth.

“[We] remain optimistic about the all-important second quarter of FY22 as the vaccine rollout progresses and the economy re-opens,” said Lew.

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