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Specialty Fashion Group trims losses, boosts online sales

Specialty Fashion Group has more than halved its full-year net loss to $2.2 million as it continues to rejuvenate its struggling clothing brands and focus on its online sales.

The company, which owns brands including Rivers, Katies and City Chic, also raised revenue by 4.4 per cent to $826.2 million in the 12 months to June 30.

The Specialty Fashion Group has posted an underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of $25.0 million, which includes a loss of $9.9 million attributable to Rivers, compared with the previous corresponding period’s EBITDA of $20.3 million, which included an underlying loss of $21.6 million attributable to Rivers.

Despite losses, Rivers grew its online sales by 48 per cent and is expected to start trading profitably by FY2017. The company attributed this growth to cost-effective online marketing which increased customer loyalty and led to a big uplift in repeat purchases.

Across Specialty Fashion Group, online sales lifted 42 per cent, now accounting for 8.8 per cent of the company’s total revenues. Specialty Fashion Group said the percentage of total sales made online is ahead of industry benchmarks. This result is impressive considering the retail demographic in which the company operates. The company’s roll out of click and collect initiatives throughout all Australian stores during the year was a key driver of its online uptake.

The company’s net loss for the year was $2.2 million compared to the previous corresponding period’s net loss of $4.5 million.

Specialty Fashion Group did not pay a final dividend, and has not paid a dividend since June 2014.

“This is a pleasing result, achieved in a difficult trading environment,” said Gary Perlstein, Specialty Fashion Group’s CEO.

Perlstein said their growth strategy is working. “The group delivered an impressive fifth consecutive six-monthly period of positive CSG, and consolidated its position as the largest specialty retailer of women’s fashion in Australia.”

Perlstein said they want to be the leading omnichannel retailer in the industry and they are fully committed to working on this strategy.

“Our aim is to enable our customers to shop and engage with our brands — any time, any place, any way,” he said.

A version of this story first appeared on our sister site, Inside Retail Australia.

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