Noni B Limited (ASX: NBL) is a ladies fashion retail brand based in New South Wales, Australia. It was founded by Noni Broadbent in 1977 and was later purchased by Mr. Alan Kindl and a business partner. Noni B is a leading Australian fashion brand which started with two stores in Belmont and Swansea in New South Wales and has grown to more than 1,400 stores nationally today. It differentiates itself from other retailers by focusing on superior service, style, and fit. The company provides different apparels for different occasions, accessories, and a few home décor items and gift items. Its portfolio consists of brands such as W. Lane, Liz Jordan, Table Eight, Rockmans, and Beme.
Today, the company has announced an update over its financial performance for the first half year of 2019 ending 31 December 2018. The company’s sales have shown tremendous growth of 140% as compared to the equivalent prior period, i.e., 1H18. The company reported sales of approx. $457 million which was $372.4 million in FY18 and $193.2 million in 1H18. The growth in the sales was mainly due to the acquisition of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, and Rivers brands from the Specialty Fashion Group for $31.0 million in cash on 14 May 2018.
NBL reported that strong Christmas trading resulted in like-for-like sales growth of +1% in December and, as a result, like-for-like sales growth for H1 improved to -3.1% (against previously announced like-for-like sales growth of -5% YTD at end October).
The company also reported a cash holding of circa $65 million as at 30 December 2018 which was reported as $58.7 million in FY18 and $34 million in 1H18, giving net cash of circa $42.8m.
Also, as a result of improved trading coupled with the acquisitions made by the company, it expects an EBITDA of circa $29 million in 1H19 lying at the upper end of market consensus range of $25-30 million. The company reported an EBITDA of $37.2 million in FY18 and $22.108 in 1H18. This represented a growth of 31.17% as compared to the equivalent prior period.
The Group is confident about its performance over the second half of the financial year continuing its strategy to deliver synergies and improve gross profit sustainably across the portfolio of brands. The company expects its full-year EBITDA to be around $45 million, which is in line with latest market consensus (post-AGM upgrades). It is subject to key important trading periods in the second half, including Mothers’ Day. The Group will provide further details when it releases first-half FY2019 results in February.
Looking at the performance of Noni B Limited’s stock and the return it has posted over the last few months, the stock has generated an outstanding positive return of 25.94% during the past year. It is currently trading at $2.750 with a surge of 10% during the day’s trade on account of continued strong growth. The company has ~97.1 million shares outstanding with the market cap of circa $242.75 million.
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