Australian clothing retailer Country Road saw first half sales soar on the back of the acquisition of the Witchery Group in September.

The retailer said that over the half ended 31 December, sales increased 50.5% to A$331.3m from $220.1m in the same period of the prior year.

South African sales increased 19.8% to $37.3m, rising 2.3% on a comparable basis. Australasian sales incerased 55.6% to $294m, with comparable sales increasing 10.7% over the half.

It now expects group profit before tax for the half to be in the range of $26-29m, up from $13.7m in the corresponding period of the prior year. The range includes profit before tax for the Witchery Group from 30 September, and one-off transaction costs associated with the acquisition.