Super Retail Group continues to remain optimistic against retail trends reporting expectations of a 35 per cent growth in group sales for the first half of the 2012 financial year.

It announced group sales for the 26 weeks to 31 December 2011 is expected to be $758.6 million, mainly contributed to the success of the Rebel Sports and Amart All Sports businesses, which was acquired on 30 October 2011.

On a like-for-like basis, sales growth for its sports division in the nine weeks subsequent to acquisition was 7.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, the company’s auto and cycle division saw like-for-like sales were 3.5 per cent higher than the prior comparative period. In that period, six Supercheap Auto stores were opened while a Goldcross Cycles store closed.

But the most successful department for the company was its leisure division that experienced like-for-like sales growth of 9.9 per cent higher than the prior comparative period.

However, the company says it expects gross margins for the leisure division to be “slightly” behind last year, reflecting the change in ranging strategy in the Ray’s Outdoors business.