Oroton builds on Asian success

Luxury retailer Oroton says its growing Asian business now accounts for 10 per cent of its store network.

Oroton on Wednesday announced solid growth in profit on the same day Australia’s once considered ‘high end’ department store David Jones revealed its profits would drop by as much as 40 per cent for the full year.

David Jones claimed wealthy customers were tightening their purse strings and not spending. Oroton proved that’s not the case – they’re just not spending in department stores.

OrotonGroup CEO Sally Macdonald said like for like sales for the first half of 2012 financial year were up nine per cent in “a very challenging retail environment”. Net profit was up four per cent after allowing for $1.2 million net costs in establishing stores outside Australia.

She said Oroton would continue to build its Asian business as it believed the Australian retail industry was in the midst of a restructure rather than a cyclical downturn as some retailers are advocating. Asia thus appears to offer stronger lasting growth prospects than the more mature Australian market.

Oroton has 60 stores trading under its own brand in Australia and Asia and 32 in Australia carrying the Ralph Lauren name, for which it has Australian rights. Oroton.com sales performed the best with sales up more than 60 per cent year on year.

“We continue to roll out our directly operated Oroton stores in Southeast Asia. In the last half we opened a further two stores in Malaysia (one close to the border with Singapore), and we have plans for further stores later this calendar year, with the next store opening in Kuala Lumpur in July,” Macdonald said.

“Our investment in international stores illustrates our commitment to proving our Asian rollout strategy.”

Oroton did not break down its sales or profit results by geographic market.


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