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November 15 2012, 7:12PM

Fashion apparel retailer Country Road has reported a 36.9 per cent increase in sales for the first 20 weeks of its financial year compared with the same period a year ago.

The figures are in Australian dollar terms and include the Australasian sales for Witchery and Mimco as from 30 September 2012, being the effective date of the acquisition of the chains by Country Road for $172 million.

Sales in Australasian comparable stores for the same period increased by12.2 per cent and net total floor space, excluding the acquisition, contracted by 2.1 per cent.

The group's South African sales were not included in the trading results, reported to the Australian Securities Exchange after the close of trading on Thursday.

Country Road said a similar trading statement was issued on the Johannesburg stock exchange by its holding company Woolworths Holdings Ltd of South Africa.

Country Road in August reported an 11.6 per cent drop in net profit for the previous financial year to $16.1 million and did not pay a final dividend, as the effect of the retail downturn hit its bottom line.