Just Group, which operates the Just Jeans, Portmans, Jacqui E, and Dotti. Jay Jays, Peter Alexander and Smiggle labels, has sustained growth for the period ended 31 July 2010, despite tough current trading conditions.
Sales for Australia and New Zealand were up 3 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $870.4 million, while earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) for the full year were $84.3 million.
However, womenswear business Portmans, which flagged plans for a brand transformation in 2008, continued to flounder over the period, with Just Group parent company Premier Investments ring-fencing the label, along with a challenging retail environment, as the two key factors impacting Just Group’s FY2010 performance.
“As previously announced, retail trading in the second half was abnormally volatile. Successive interest rate rises had a clear adverse impact on consumer confidence and discretionary spending. The second half was also impacted by the cycling of the Australian Government economic stimulus and sustained abnormal weather conditions in each of Just Group’s major markets. These factors in turn resulted in intensive industry wide discounting.”
Premier said that it remained cautious about the broader macro-economic environment but hoped improvements made to its operations, especially at the struggling Portmans chain, and an improved retail environment would produce a better result this financial year than in 2009-10.
Premier chairman Solomon Lew has also confirmed Premier would be interested in acquiring fashion chain Country Road, in which he personally holds an 11.8 per cent stake, if majority owner South African retailer Woolworths Holdings were to consider selling.