Fashion retailer Truworths International expects further market share gains in the financial year to June next year, translating into "reasonable" growth in earnings, it said in its latest annual report.

In the full year to June, Truworths upped market share by 1 per cent in its ladies' brands and showed a 0.7 per cent gain in market share for men's wear in a challenging clothing market.

Chief executive Michael Mark said: "We believe Truworths is lean yet right sized and has shown a remarkable ability to respond to the opportunities to grow market share in all our retail formats.

"We will continue to seek out local and international business opportunities and acquisitions that fit our business philosophy."

Cash at the end of the period amounted to R307.9 million from R150.9 million previously. Attributable profit came in at R219.1 million from a loss of R12.2 million in the previous year.

Mark said the group had learnt good lessons from its experience with Sportsgirl, the troubled Australian subsidiary that was sold last year. Sportsgirl's net assets were written off in full after the group was placed under voluntary administration last November.

"We have learnt significantly and have emerged a stronger, more focused and better positioned company [post-Sportsgirl]," he said.

The group has a firm strategy in place to further consolidate and strengthen the sound position it enjoyed in the local retail market. Key elements of the strategy include expansion of store networks and franchise operations and on-going tight management of costs.

Women's wear makes up over 50 per cent of Truworths's business, followed by men's wear and cosmetics. The group reported an improvement in the use of credit among customers in the year to June.

By Barnabas Thondhlana

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Selected Men's and Boys' Apparel

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Selected Women's Outerwear

The 2000 World Forecasts of Clothing Accessories of Textile Fabrics Export Supplies