Upscale fashion chain Dickson Concepts on Wednesday reported a 716 per cent leap in first half net profit to HK$55.1 million (US$7m) on the back of a one-off gain of HK$44m related to an Internet-based retail network.

The company, which distributes labels such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers in Asia, said that stripping out the one-off item, net profit for the six months to September 30 was HK$11.1m versus HK$6.7m in 2001.

Sales climbed to HK$1.16 billion from just over HK$1bn in 2001 and the operator of 365 stores across Asia plans to open a further 23 in the second half of the financial year.

"This expansion, together with a net cash position of over HK$300 million and a strong balance sheet, will ensure that the group is perfectly positioned to take advantage of any investment opportunities of exceptional value and any improvement in trading conditions in Asia," it added.