First half profit at Gerry Weber International AG, Germany's third-largest maker of women's clothing, rose 9.6%, helped by rising sales and efficient procurement structures.

Net profit increased to EUR10.7m (US$14.4m) from EUR9.7m the company said in a statement today (25 June), with earnings per share rising by EUR0.04 to EUR0.45.

Sales were up 12.5% to EUR236.7m, compared with the previous year's EUR210.4m. Brand sales increased by 9.8% - led by 15.3% growth at the Gerry Weber brand, which accounts for 70.9% of total sales. The brand's sub-labels include Gerry Weber Edition and GW.

Sales of Taifun-Collection, the young fashion brand, and of Samoon-Collection, the brand for plus sizes, were slightly lower than in the previous year the company said.

Retail sales at the Houses Of Gerry Weber stores rose 49.5% through growth in existing stores the opening of new shops.
Gerry Weber is targeting sales of EUR500m in its 2006/2007 fiscal year, which ends on 31 October, and says incoming orders for the third quarter's autumn/winter 2007 programme are up by 23.2%.

"The second half of the year will certainly be equally successful," said Gerhard Weber, chairman of the managing board.

He added: "The current fiscal year will see our retail segment in the black for the first time."