4 Feb 2009

Clothing retailer expects big drop in half-year profit

6:50 pm on 4 February 2009

New Zealand retailer Hallenstein Glasson predicts its half-year profit is likely to be down about 40% to between $5.4 million and $5.6 million.

The clothing retailer says sales fell nearly 3% in the six months to February.

Though sales in January improved almost 2%, it failed to offset the 4.6% drop in sales in the key shopping month of December.

Forsyth Barr senior analyst Guy Hallwright says the retailer's margins are being eroded as it discounts stock to move it off the racks, while it has to spend more buying stock due to the lower New Zealand dollar.

Hallenstein Glasson shares were down 3 cents to close at $2.20 on Wednesday.