The Noni B Limited (ASX: NBL) share price is up more than 2.5% after issuing a FY19 trading update.

Noni B is a fashion retailer that operates a number of brands including Rockmans, Beme and W Lane. It recently acquired a number of other retail chains from Specialty Fashion Group like Rivers, Millers, Katies, Crossroads and Autograph.

Noni B’s FY19 Trading Update

The clothes and accessories retailer revealed that its total sales grew to approximately $864 million during FY19 with the company’s store network ending on 1,379 stores after a net movement of minus 47 stores.

Like for like sales for the year to 30 June 2019 were negative 4.3%, but this was in line with management’s expectations and was part of the integration plan. In my opinion, it’s better to make less sales that are profitable sales than more sales which don’t add to the bottom line.

Noni B’s online sales continue to grow as a proportion of total sales, it now represents 9.8% of total sales. This is important in an increasingly digital shopping world. Indeed, there are some brands in Australia which are online only.

As a result of the above sales figures, Noni B expects underlying EBITDA (click here to learn what EBITDA means) for FY19 to be in line with guidance of approximately $45 million, which would be an increase of 21% over last year’s EBITDA of $37.2 million. These figures are before the acquisition and restructuring costs of $9.1 million when it acquired most of its current brands including Rivers, Autograph and Millers.

The company said, “Noni B is very pleased with this result in the current climate and, in particular, the Group’s sales performance through the key Christmas and Mother’s Day trading periods.”

Is Noni B A Buy?

At first the acquisition of all the extra retail brands seemed like a tough challenge, as they weren’t profitable. But Noni B appears to be doing what’s necessary to do well with them. The last 15 years has been quite a rollercoaster for the company, but it seems to be doing well now.

However, fashion retail is such a challenging industry that I’m not sure I would want to buy shares. I much prefer the idea of buying reliable and consistent ASX shares like the ones in the free report below instead.

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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).

At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned.