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Solomon Lew’s Premier Posts Record Earnings, Sales

Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments has posted record first-half sales and earnings, paying out a special interim dividend to shareholders.

Premier Retail, which owns over 1,100 retail stores, including popular fashion outlets Peter Alexander and Smiggle, saw sales jump 17.6 per cent to a record $905.2 million, for the half-year ending January 28.

Likewise, EBIT jumped a more modest 4.6 per cent, to a record $221.8 million. Statutory first-half net profit rose 6.5 per cent to $174.3 million.

Online sales, which make up 18.9 per cent of all turnover, fell 12.5 per cent to $170.9 million, as shoppers return to bricks-and-mortar locations.

A lower gross margin of 63.7 per cent, down from 65.9 per cent the prior year, is due to the weaker Australian dollar, according to Premier.

An interim fully franked ordinary dividend of 54c as well as a special dividend of 16c, was announced – to be paid on July 26.

“Over the past three years and including the 1H23 dividends, Premier shareholders have been rewarded with a total of half a billion dollars in fully franked dividends,” Premier chairman Solomon Lew said.

Premier also owns just under 26 per cent of Myer, who more than doubled its net profit in the six months to January 28.

Myer sales for the first-half of the financial year rose 24.2 per cent, to $1.88 billion — a new record — while net profit jumped an impressive 101.4 per cent, to $65 million. EBIT jumped to $139.6 million from $96.7 million.

This marked the department store’s best first-half performance since 2014.

Sales across all Premier Retail are up 7.7 per cent in the first six weeks of the second-half.

“We have opened the second half strongly and are well-positioned to drive growth from our powerful retail model,” Premier Retail CEO Richard Murray said.


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