Country Road, a clothing company majority controlled by South Africa's Woolworths Holding, posted a net profit of A$157,000 ($82,583) for the fiscal first half ended December 31, down from a profit of A$1.1m ($578,606) a year earlier.

The company said the weaker result partly reflects a slump following the introduction of a 10 per cent goods and services tax in Australia on July 1.

The current apparel retail market is "difficult" in both Australasia and the US, and no improvement in consumer demand or market conditions is foreseen over the next six months.

In an attempt to preserve profitability, Country Road said it will cut costs.