Myer’s investment into its five-point strategic plan is beginning to pay off after reporting a lift in first half year sales for the first time since 2010.

The department giant highlighted its first half total sales is up 1.7 per cent to $1.7 million and net profit after tax is up 0.7 per cent to $87.9 million. On a quarterly basis, Q2 total sales is up 2.1 per cent.

Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes told investors it’s a solid turnaround in the reasonably challenging environment.

“It was a challenging environment and despite head wings due to increasing costs, we still invested money in was able to still achieve a positive return,” he said.

Brookes also pointed out the company has reduced its reliance on markdowns and this has “seen positive customer response”.

Its key performing categories was menswear, cosmetic womenswear, fashion accessories and childrenswear, which were all well ahead of last year in both sales and gross profit.

Myer also concentrates on rationalisation the electrical range (particularly TVs), the exit of DVDs, CDs, gaming and consoles, as well as the competitive furniture market, to make room for its better performing fashion categories.

Myer chief financial officer Mark Ashby admitted the company does face – like the rest of the retail industry – the pressures of rising labour costs, utility costs and  taxes but believe its continued focus and investment in its five-point strategic plan will help the company overcome any roadblocks.

“We continue to invest into the future of the business, which includes our omnichannel strategy, new stores, improved customer service, new brands and our MyerOne loyalty program,” he said.

The company however did not provide a profit or sales guidance for FY2013, indicating “there are myriad of factors that continue to influence consumer confidence and discretionary spend, hence we remain cautious about the trading environment”.