The PAS Group has released its sales results for the half year that ended 31 December 2016, posting a sales increase of 4.6% and a total of $135.7 million.
Retail sales grew 7.3% to $71.9 million, which was attributed to store openings both during this period and the FY2016, as well as a 39% growth in online sales. Online sales now account for 11.2% of total sales.
However, like-for-like sales were flat across the retail business.
Nine stores opened during the half, taking the total number of stores to 257 for PAS.
Wholesale also saw an increase in sales, up 1.6% which accounted for $63.7 million of total sales.
PAS explained that the growth of both JETS swimwear and the Designworks Sports Division were the main drivers behind the growth.
PAS CEO Eric Morris said while trading conditions were challenging, loyalty programs and online sales growth facilitated solid sales growth.
"Trading conditions in the first half were very challenging with a late start to spring and summer, significant promotional activity across the industry, weaker department store sales and overall subdued consumer confidence.
"Considering the environment the group showed solid progress serving our existing customer base and reaching new shoppers demonstrated by continued expansion of our loyalty program across all brands and strong online sales growth in the first half of the year.”
These loyalty memberships grew to 652,000 members, an increase of 118,000 members since 30 June, 2016.
Loyalty memberships and online sales will remain a firm driver of growth in the second half of FY2017, as well as sales generated from new retail stores, Target, Sports Division and JETS.
Morris noted that PAS remains in a strong position of growth for FY2017 due to controlled stock levels, low debt and healthy cash flows.
"Meanwhile we continue to successfully deliver against our growth strategy with several initiatives underway that will underpin our revenue growth over the long term.
"With no debt and healthy cash flows, the business is in a strong financial position with the capacity to make further value enhancing organic and acquisition led investments.”