Harvey Norman dismisses article in Irish Examiner

By Adam Coleman

Harvey Norman has responded to an article in the Irish Examiner yesterday that suggested the group had incurred ‘significant losses’ in its first two years of trading in Ireland and that pre-tax losses for the year to end June 2005 fell to €2.28 million ($A3.9m) from €3.2 million ($A5.4m) the previous year.

“I don’t know where they got those figures from. I would suggest they might be from an analyst. We are going very very well in Ireland,” Harvey Norman general manager, electrical David Ackery told current.com.au.

“Our position is that Ireland we believe will be in the black for the financial year ending 2007. Every year since setup has been an improvement. We have now gone from three stores to nine and we expect to have sixteen in a relatively short period of time,” he said.

“Ireland is trading very well for us. Not only in electrical but in furniture and bedding in particular.”

Yesterday’s article quoted the company as saying: “The group incurred significant losses in its first two years of trading.”

“Significant implies to me millions and millions of dollars and that is not the case,” Ackery said.
“It has been a very controlled entry into that market, a budgeted one and a planned one. Mind you in my world one dollar is a significant loss,” Ackery said.

Over the six months to December 05, sales revenue from the Irish stores was recorded in the company’s half year report as being €5.71 million ($A9.6m) due to the opening of the Cork store in October last year.

“New store openings in Ireland will give the Harvey Norman brand critical mass, greater bargaining power with suppliers and more cost effective advertising in all media to take advantage of economies of scale,” said Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey in the half-year report.

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