Noni B has warned profit for the first half of the 2013 financial year is expected to take a tumble.

The retail fashion group expects to report an after-tax profit in the range of $1.7 million to $1.9 million compared to $2.4 million for the same period last year.

However, sales were in line with the previous year, despite one less week’s trading.

David Kindl, joint managing director, said: We plan to maintain staffing levels and investment in training so we can continue to improve the personalised service we offer. We believe retailers who are committed to the development of their people will be best placed for long-term growth, both instore and online.”

Four new stores were opened in December which will contribute to the company’s second half results. This brings the number of Noni B stores to 219.

The company’s results for the first half of the year will be announced on 13 February 2013.