Apparel retailer Postie Plus said at its annual shareholders meeting that sales have shown continued strength so far this year, but that it still expects future trading to be "tough."

The company reported that sales had taken a turn for the better at the end of the 2006 financial year, a trend that appears to be ongoing.

During October sales were up 13% to NZ$28m (US$18.79m). For the year ended in July, sales had risen 9.8% while earnings before interest and taxation jumped 94%.

"The directors consider this to be a satisfying outcome in the generally difficult trading conditions and further encouragement for the strategies being actioned across the business," chairman Peter van Rij said.
"The benefits of new strategic initiatives are just surfacing and have the potential to unleash greater value."

Chief executive Ron Boskell said: "We have achieved a good result for last year and...we have opened with a promising sales performance in the first quarter.

"Like the entire retail sector, we are nevertheless facing issues in the current year that reflect that times will be anything but smooth sailing."
It was also reported in the press that a shareholder at the meeting had called into question research into directors' fee rates. The shareholder argued that the company's share price was only just getting back to the listing $1 price following the listing two years ago.

Most shareholders had in the end given their backing to a proposal to raise fees by $90,000, a vote which chairman Peter Van Rij justified with research from Sheffield Consulting.