Hallenstein Glasson Holdings’ half year result in line with market guidance The Chairman of Directors of Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Limited, Warren Bell, today announced a half year unaudited net profit of $9.237m after tax, consistent with the January market update which predicted a profit figure of around $9m. The result is down 6.6% on the same period last year and reflects an overall decline in sales of 2%. Group sales were $98.5 million (2007: $100.721 million.) The company’s balance sheet remains strong with cash and bank balances at 1 February 2008 sitting at $26.450m compared with $24.877 last year. Mr Bell commented that these are uncertain times for retail, both New Zealand and Australia. “Retail conditions will continue to be challenging for the immediate future as high interest rates, increased fuel costs and cost of living increases restrict consumer spending.” Hallenstein Glasson Holdings recently announced the appointment of new CEO, Shayne Quanchi, who has now taken up the role and Mr Bell says her Australian retail experience – particularly in fashion apparel – demonstrates the company’s commitment to pursuing major growth opportunities in the Australian market. Ms Quanchi says, “Australia is a major growth opportunity for us and my experience in the Australian marketplace is a distinct advantage. We already have plans to increase the visibility of the Glassons brand in Australia, including having a number of new stores under active consideration.” “In New Zealand we have a major store refurbishment programme underway. Seven stores were refurbished during the period under review, as well as the opening of a new Glassons store at Albany. A further nine stores are being refurbished in the current half.” Hallenstein Glasson Holdings is also embracing online shopping with Hallensteins’ web shop (www.hallensteins.co.nz) launched in time for Christmas 2007 and a similar Glassons online shop to be launched later this year. Ms Quanchi says it’s apparent to her that a key to the success of Hallenstein Glasson Holdings is the business’s ability to offer customers the right product and manage stock levels. Closing stock was $12.781m compared with $14.522m last year. “Our demonstrated ability to manage stock levels stands us in good stead to capitalise on market opportunties.” Hallenstein Glasson Holdings has declared an interim dividend of 17 cents per share (fully imputed) which is unchanged from the last interim. The Directors advise that the dividend rate for the full year will be reviewed subject to trading results and capital expenditure requirements.