Australia Premier raises FY retail earnings forecast
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Premier Investments has raised its full-year retail earnings forecast by about 90 per cent after booming sales this year.
Solomon Lew's company, which owns Just Jeans, Peter Alexander, Smiggle and more, has benefited from Australian and New Zealand stores trading for most of this year compared to the coronavirus lockdowns of early 2020.
Sales during the Easter school holidays were particularly strong. Mother's Day also proved popular for sales.
Chief executive Mark McInnes said a decision to increase stock levels prior to Easter and school holidays had delivered strong sales.
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However the reasons for the improvement were not so simple.
Premier's 122 Smiggle stores in the UK and Ireland were closed from January to March due to the coronavirus. They re-opened in April and May.
In Asia, Smiggle stores have been closed for lengthy periods. Premier said COVID-19 restrictions were expected to remain until at least the end of its financial year.
In Victoria, 228 Premier stores were closed for a week due to the latest virus lockdown. Most of Premier's Melbourne stores re-opened on Friday.
Premier has forecast full-year earnings for its retail division will be between $340 million and $360 million before interest and tax.
Its financial year spans 53 weeks to July 31.
Premier also has an investments arm which was not included in Friday's trading update.
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Premier also owns clothing shops Dotti, Jacqui E, Jays Jays and Portmans.
The company has enjoyed surging sales since late last year as Australia better controlled virus outbreaks.
Its leaders in May made a surprising shift on repaying JobKeeper wage subsidies and said Premier would repay $15.6 million in taxpayer funds.
This was the benefit collected during Premier's first-half.
Public figures such as federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh said the company collected more than than this from JobKeeper and should repay the whole amount.
A range of companies have repaid JobKeeper subsidies after reporting booming profits during the pandemic.
Premier shares were up by 0.11 per cent to $27.36 at 1423 AEST.
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