Fashion retailer Country Road seems to have had a succeeding half year, reporting that sales were up 5.1 per cent on the corresponding period last year.

The company expects a profit after tax growth between 10 to 12 per cent on the prior year for the same period ending.

According to Country Road, key factors that underlies the performance include total Australian retail sales, including new stores, were 0.3 per cent down on last year with like-for-like sales down 4.2 per cent. Also total concession sales, inclusive of South African operations, were 21.2 per cent on the prior year. Comparable Australian concession sales were 10.3 per cent down.

Chief executive Howard Goldberg said retail trading conditions have remained difficult as consumers have been cautious with regard to discretionary spend.

“Despite this we have reduced our levels of discounting and improved our margins. Our online store continues to grow and we have opened limited new stores. We have been focused on expense reduction initatives throughout the first half and our South African business continues to trade well,” he said.

“The retail outlook for the next six months remains challenging. Our expectations on sales remain conservative and we will continue to drive a more efficient business improving shareholder returns.”