Hallenstein Glasson says after-tax profit to rise by 63%

This tops guidance given in December.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings [NZX:HLG] has updated its guidance for the first half of its financial year, with sales and profit up on the previous period.

The clothing retailer says total group sales for the six months to February 1 were $146.8 million, a 19.4% increase from the $122.9 million earned over the previous corresponding period.

Group profit after tax is projected to be between $14.75 and $15.25 million, an increase of about 63% over the previous period when profit was $9.2 million. This is ahead of guidance given in December for profit to be up about 50%.

Gross margin for the first half was about 3.5 percentage points up on the previous year, which chief executive Mark Goddard says was achieved through strong sales performance, improved buying strategy and reduced promotional activity and discounting.

The balance sheet for the group remains strong and stock levels continue to be well controlled, says Mr Goddard, who took the helm from long-serving Graeme Popplewell last April.

The retailer runs more than 120 Glassons, Hallenstein Brothers and Storm stores around New Zealand and Australia.

It operates in a tough trading environment but has been concentrating on selling more products at full price and reducing levels of promotions and discounts, to improve profitability.

It has been moving away from traditional marketing in favour of digital and social channels and influencer events, with web sales increasing each year.

Full results will be released to the market on March 30.

The company’s shares last traded at $4.30, up 27% in the past 12 months.