Listed retailer, Hallenstein Glasson, has experienced a strong start to the new season, but warns trading remains difficult and it expects the pace of growth in sales to slow over the rest of the financial year.
Hallenstein Glasson says its half year profit rose by a quarter, due to record Christmas sales in its Hallenstein, Glasson and Storm clothing chains.
The company made $9 million over the six months to the beginning of February, an increase of 27% compared with the same period a year earlier.
Forsyth Barr retail analyst Guy Hallwright says the company has bounced back after a dismal result in the previous year, particularly in Australia.
Sales rose 8% to $109 million, lifted by record Christmas sales and a strong January in New Zealand, while it gained market share in Australia.
The retailer says sales grew 7% in the first two months of the new season, but it anticipates it will be difficult to maintain that momentum over the rest of the year.
Mr Hallwright says Hallenstein Glasson is a conservative firm, and he wouldn't be surprised if sales do better than the retailer's indicating.
He says there has been slight growth in apparel spending but it's still relatively subdued.
Hallenstein Glasson's shares rose 2 cents to $4.02 on Wednesday.