September 24, 2017 / 11:13 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Premier Investments annual profit rises as online, overseas sales spike

(Adds online sales, background details)

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Australian retail conglomerate Premier Investments Ltd said on Monday annual net profit rose 1.2 percent as blossoming online and overseas sales boosted revenue and allowed the retailer to shrug off the effects of weaker consumer spending.

The company said net profit was A$105.1 million ($83.58 million) for the year ended July 29, just missing analyst estimates of A$111.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales from its retail business, which is Premier’s main breadwinner, rose 5.7 percent to A$1.1 billion. The segment’s online sales jumped 44 percent to A$68.1 million during the year.

The company expects online sales to exceed its original target of A$100 million in annual sales, sooner than 2020.

The investment vehicle of billionaire retailer Solomon Lew has continually outperformed rivals as it focuses on boutique, international chains.

Australian retailers have been hit by weakening demand, as stagnant wages and rising utility bills have kept consumers from spending. Premier is able to work around weaker consumer spending through its foreign stores.

The company’s stationary business, Smiggle, clocked a near 29 percent growth in sales, with a majority of sales coming from outside Australia, while sales from its sleepwear brand, Peter Alexander, rose 14 percent.

The company announced a final dividend of 27 cents per share, compared to 25 cents from a year ago. ($1 = 1.2575 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Stephen Coates)

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