Australia-based Specialty Fashion Group has confirmed that net profit almost tripled during the first half of its financial year on the back of sales growth and margin expansion.

The company said net profit over the six months ended 31 December reached A$18m (US$18.6m), up from $6.15m in the same period of the prior year.

Revenue from continuing operations was up 1.3% to $311.1m. The company, which operates the Millers and Katies brands, said the improvements were due to better sales and margin expansion, which it attributed to online sales growth, improvements in its supply chain, and minimising inflation in the cost of doing business.

Trading is expected to improve in the second half of the year compared to the same period of last year, driven by efforts in e-commerce, customer relationship management and the supply chain.

However, it remains cautious that macroeconomic factors, both in Australia and abroad, may impact consumers' discretionary spending.