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City Chic’s exit of Avenue and capital raising conclude an incredibly painful experience of global ambition and then retreat. The City Chic brand has a strong following in Australia but has been impacted by excess inventory. The company is addressing its cost base but more savings will be needed to restore profitability. Moreover, store openings seem unlikely at this stage given the poor sales productivity.

Premier Investments reported 1H24 Retail EBIT down 4.8% to $210 million. Gross margins were higher than expected and along with tight cost control, helped to offset the operational leverage of declining sales. We expect a similar outcome in 2H24e with sales only up 1% and elevated cost growth leading to lower EBIT. Little detail was provided on the strategic review with a potential split up of the business possible in 2025.

City Chic (CCX) - Exit of Europe and UK

Narrowing its world of curves

05 August 2023

City Chic has announced the sale (exit) of its UK and European business for A$12 million. This a modest price given it paid close to $50 million, but it does simplify the group and further improves its net cash position. We lift our EBITDA (pre AASB-16) in FY24e from -$6 million to -$1 million. Medium term, we have lowered our EBITDA by close to $3 million, indicating a 4x multiple for the exit. The strategic review clearly signals a focus on simplicity for City Chic and there is sufficient upside in the Americas and Australia/NZ for the group. Its net cash position also adds to the appeal and is a key feature of our positive rating.

Premier Investments October 2022 trading update

Lapping lockdowns in style

01 November 2022

Premier Investments provided a trading update to say that its first 12 weeks of FY23e has seen sales up 43%. These growth rates lap lockdowns from last year and are distorted. Nevertheless, underlying demand is strong as consumers have ramped up fashion spending. We expect sales growth to slow to very low single-digit from November onwards and sales are likely to decline in 2023.

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