Oroton profit rises amid uncertainty

Luxury retailer Oroton Group has reported a small rise in first-half net profit as it considers acquisitions and international expansion. But questions remain over what will happen after its Ralph Lauren licence expires at the end of June.

Luxury retailer Oroton Group has reported a small rise in first-half net profit as it considers acquisitions and international expansion. But questions remain over what will happen after its Ralph Lauren licence expires at the end of June.

The fashion brand reported a net profit of $16.4 million for the six months to January 26, a 2.1 per cent rise on the previous corresponding period, as group revenue rose 2.4 per cent. It declared a fully franked interim dividend of 22¢.

Oroton shares closed down 18¢ at $7.41 on Thursday.

Group revenue was $101.5 million in the first half, up from last financial year's $99.1 million. Like-for-like sales remained flat.

Oroton chief executive Sally Macdonald said the results were solid given the challenging retail environment, international competition and discounting.

Shaw Stockbroking analyst Danny Younis said that while there was positive news about Oroton, such as its expansion into the Middle East and its move from a net debt to net cash position, there was uncertainty about the Lauren licence ending.

"That's the question the market's actually asking and wants an answer on," he said.

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