Hallenstein Glasson Holdings said its clothing retail chains had traded strongly so far this summer, with increased sales and margins.

Sales for the first 17 weeks of the new financial year, from August 2 to November 30, were 15 per cent ahead of the same period last year, and gross margin had improved, the Auckland-based retailer said in a statement.

"This is a positive start to the summer season, however December and January months are the peak trading periods and significant contributors to the full season result. It is therefore difficult at this stage to predict the full summer season profit although based on current performance it will comfortably exceed the prior corresponding period," said chief executive Mark Goddard.

The retailer, which operates the Glassons, Hallenstein Brothers and Storm chains, lifted its fortunes last financial year, with profit rising by 26 per cent, aided by a new buying strategy, a focus on cost control and a favourable exchange rate. Goddard took over at the helm in mid-April, replacing long-serving Graeme Popplewell who ended 46 years at the company.

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The company expects to provide a further trading update at its annual meeting of shareholders on December 13.

Its shares last traded at $3.41 and have gained 15 per cent the past year.