Premier Investment defies the sluggish trading conditions, reporting a solid positive first half year result for 2013.

The company achieved $46.5 million in consolidated NPAT, a 20.7 per cent increase while also reporting that consolidated profit before tax increased by 19.2 per cent or $64.5 million. At the same time EBIT was up 9.8 per cent to $56.3 million.

Premier chairman Solomon Lew said the outcome has been achieved due to the company’s successful output of its progressive transformation plan.

“The retail environment in Australia continues to be challenging, however this result is a credit to the management team of Premier Retail and the relentless implementation of the six point EBIT improvement plan unveiled 18 months ago. The transformation program has enabled the company to deliver continued profit growth for our shareholders,” he said.

“Premier’s solid earnings growth and strong balance sheet have allowed us to reward loyal shareholders with an interim fully franked dividend 19 cents per share, an increase on first half 2012. The company remains focused on growing shareholder wealth by optimising its current business investments and seeking new opportunities.”

Premier’s strong results has been helped by its Peter Alexander and Smiggle brand continuing its accelerated store roll-out both locally and in Singapore. Meanwhile, the company also continues to grow its online presence and SKUs, which saw internet sales increase 51 per cent during the season.

“We are pleased with our continued progress on the Premier Retail transformation and in particular the profit performance of the organisation. Our improved profitability and working capital management has given us the latitude to pay down debt at the Premier Retail level and to continue our investment in building a world-class team operating a world-class platform for the benefit of our customers,” Mark McInnes, Premier Retail CEO, said.

“We continue to invest in technology, brands, store fitouts, service and marketing. These investments are all aimed at improving our offer to customers as a leading retail destination in all the categories we operate in.”

According to the company, its trading for the six weeks is in line with their expectations.

“Despite the severe pressures facing all Australian retailers, Premier continues to be well positioned to take advantage of all its growth opportunities,” the company said.