Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson has had a bumper first half with a solid lift in profit on the back of higher sales.
The company has reported a profit of $19.8 million for the six months to February, 29 percent on the year before and in line with its own forecasts.
Managing director Mary Devine said the business had held up well in the face of the challenges and uncertainty caused by Covid-19, although margins had been dented slightly by higher freight costs as it used more expensive airfreight to get in stock.
Group sales rose 14 percent, driven by growth for the Glassons women's clothing chain. Sales in Australia were up 27 percent, while growth in New Zealand sales was 14 percent.
However, sales for the Hallenstein menswear business fell slightly on a year ago.
"Demand for the tailored product diminished with the impact of COVID-19 with more people working from home, and less certainty around events," Devine said.
More emphasis was being put into digital capability with e-commerce sales accounting for nearly a quarter of all sales in the first half.
Sales for the start of the second half of the year are noticeably stronger than the same time last year, although that did coincide with the first impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The business will continue to focus on building digital engagement with our customers, cost control and improving our market share," Devine said.
She leaves the company at the end of the month to be replaced by Stuart Duncan.
Shareholders were rewarded with an increased interim dividend od 23 cents a share compared with last year's 15 cents.