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Hallenstein forecasts 50% jump in 1H profit

Friday 29th January 2010

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Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the clothing retailer, forecast a 50% jump in first-half profit after buoyant trading over the Christmas-New Year period and raised its dividend. The stock rose 4.6%. 

Net income in the six months ending February 1 will be in the range of $8.1 million to $8.4 million, from $5.48 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Hallenstein is scheduled to release its half-year results on March 25. 

Sales for December and January rose 10.7% from a year earlier, suggesting the company got its product mix right for its peak period of trading. The retailer has managed to widen its profit margin after competition for sales, particularly in New Zealand in the wake of recession, eroded earnings in 2009. 

“We have experienced consistent demand from our customers to our offer during this key trading period, and we have been able to protect and grow our margin,” chairman Warren Bell said. “Strong trading over this period has ensured stocks are at very good levels and we are well positioned to tackle the new winter season.” 

Shares of Hallenstein rose 15 cents to $3.40. The stock has advanced almost 24% in the past six months, four times the pace of the NZX 50 index. Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX 50, fell 0.3% to $3.82 today and has shed about 2% in the past six months. 

Hallenstein said it will pay a first-half dividend of 14 cents a share, up from 10 cents a year earlier. It declared the dividend early to enable the company to fully use imputation credits.

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