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Specialty Fashion almost triples profit

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SYDNEY, Feb 18 AAP

February 18 2013, 09:56AM

Specialty Fashion Group has almost tripled its first half profit, due mainly to an increase in online sales growth.

The company posted a net profit of $17.97 million for the six months to December 31, up from $6.16 million in the previous corresponding period.

Specialty Fashion said it had achieved the turnaround by aggressively pursuing internet sales.

"Despite the challenging economic and retail market conditions throughout the half year, Specialty Fashion Group achieved a turnaround in its financial performance through sales growth and margin expansion, largely as a result of aggressively pursuing online sales growth, improvements made in its supply chain, and minimising inflation of its costs of doing business," the company said in a statement on Monday.

Specialty Fashion said it expected an improved trading performance in the 2012/13 second half compared with the same period last year.

"The strategic initiatives in relation to eCommerce, customer relationship management and the supply chain are expected to continue to be the key drivers of improvement in performance," the company said.

"However, the company remains cautious as to the extent to which macro-economic factors, both in Australia and abroad, may adversely influence consumers' propensity to spend on discretionary items."

The group's revenue from continuing operations for the six months of $311.2 million, was up 1.3 per cent on $307.3 million in the previous corresponding period.

The company also reported earnings before taxation, depreciation and amortisation of $37.2 million, in line with the guidance it provided in January.

It also declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 2.0 cents.