Australian fashion chain Noni B Ltd on Thursday reported a 12.8 per cent year-on-year jump in six month sales to nearly A$44 million on the back of strong Christmas trading.

The company said in a statement net profit for the period would be at least 40 per cent above the A$1.5m recorded in the year-ago period.

Managing director Alan Kindl said: "Christmas trading was strong, maintaining the excellent momentum we saw in the first quarter.

"The Noni B brand is attracting an increasing share of our market segment - which is the quality conscious woman who wants classic fashion.

"With a strong balance sheet, a new distribution centre and an upgraded information technology platform, the company is well-positioned to continue its growth in 2003."