Van de Velde has overcome a challenging 12 months to post a turnover increase on 1.2% for the first half of the year.
On a like-for-like basis consolidated turnover in the first half of the year went up marginally to €116.9m (£103m).
The increase in turnover comes six months on from the company’s first decrease in 19 years. Sales fell 1.1% to €207m (£184m) in the 52 weeks to December 31.
The Belgian group invested in developing ecommerce and digital communication within its own Rigby & Peller stores and for independent retailers stocking its PrimaDonna, Andres Sarda and Marie Jo brands as a response to 2016’s performance.
Van de Velde chairman Herman Van de Velde said the business will respond “nimbly” to advancing digitalisation in order to avoid “missing the digital train”.
“Industry-wide, online stores account for more than 10% of all purchases and their share is rising spectacularly year on year. Yet that is only the tip of the digital iceberg,” he said.
Van de Velde said these investments will result in high expenses in 2017 and 2018, but will translate into sustainable growth of turnover and profitability in the coming years.
The full results for the first half of 2017 will be announced and commented on Thursday 31 August 2017.