Despite exiting from operations from Shoe Superatore, RCG has recorded pleasing results for the half-year.

Excluding losses associated with the now discontinued Shoe Superstore business, RCG’s EBITDA rose 13.8 per cent from $5.96 million to $6.78 million.

This was mainly driven by The Athlete’s Foot, which recorded an 8.8 per cent increase in like-for-like sales to $88.96 million. Meanwhile its’ total group sales increased by 6.7 per cent on the same period last year to $92.42 million.

“We are delighted with the performance of the TAF business which continues to grow and thrive despite the challenges that have faced some Australian footwear retailers over the recent past. The resilience of the business continues to be a great testament to the focus, dedication and skill of TAF’s franchisees, management and staff,” Hilton Brett, RCG CEO, said.

“The continued outstanding performance of TAF continues to be a major focus of the senior management team. To that end, we have been exhaustively working on several major projects within the business that are all expected to be delivered during the 2013 calendar year, the outcome of which will be an enhanced consumer experience at all touch points.”

At the same time, the company expressed its disappointment about Shoe Superstore, which continued to trade below expectations.

While half-year sales were $4.8 million, an increase of 30.2 per cent on the previous year and like-for-like sales were up 8.6 per cent, the improvement in sales were offset by lower gross profit margins and higher operating costs associated with the aggressive clearance of seasonal inventory. As a result, SSS recorded an EBITDA loss for the half‐year of $0.68 million, a deterioration on the prior year’s loss of $0.21 million.

“This deteriorating performance has been driven both by a shift in consumer shopping habits away from strip locations and the ongoing reluctance of the core, mature consumer to spend on discretionary items. We do not see these trends reversing in the foreseeable future, as a result of which we do not believe the Shoe Superstore business to be viable in the long‐term,” Brett said.