Australian clothing firm Premier Investments saw its net profits slump 13.7% in the first-half of the year,

The company said its profit during the period, of AUD$42.2m (US$38.7m), was buoyed by increased profitability at its Just Group stores.

A statement for the 27 weeks ended 30 January said that Just Group's sales were up 9.3% to $473m.

Total group revenues grew 6.3% during the period - to $484m.

It reported "pleasing results" from Just Jeans, Jays Jays, Dotti, Smiggle and Peter Alexander brands, but said Portmans' sales were "very disappointing".

Premier chairman Solomon Lew said: "Premier continues to operate from a strong position, allowing us to take advantage of new growth opportunities that present in the market.

"Despite the uncertainties in the macro-economic environment and its impact on the retail sector, Premier's solid results demonstrate its portfolio of strong brands with good geographical footprints and wide consumer base should continue to drive performance."