Harvey Norman sales up as share price goes down

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman announced today sales increased by 12.7 per cent to $4.58 billion for the financial year ended 30 June 2006 and like for like sales increased by 7 per cent.

Despite recording a strong result, Harvey Norman’s share price dived when markets opened this morning, falling over 10 per cent to $3.38, before recovering in the afternoon.

Market analysts remain cautious about longer term consumer sentiment and spending with another interest rate rise expected in August after strong jobs growth and recent tax cuts.

A statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange by chief financial officer, Chris Mentis, said sales from the franchised Harvey Norman stores, commercial divisions and other sales outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Ireland, but excluding Singapore and Rebel Sport Limited totaled $4.58 billion for the year ended 30 June, 2006 compared to $4.06 billion for the year ended 30 June 2005 – an increase of 12.5 per cent.

During the financial year, Harvey Norman opened 12 new stores, closed one store and re-branded one store.
Over the same period in New Zealand, Harvey Norman closed two stores and opened one store.

Six new stores have been opened in Ireland.

“Demand for flat panel televisions, especially plasma and LCD, continues to be strong. Extraordinary demand was experienced during the Soccer World Cup, resulting in substantial growth in the audio visual and information technology category,” Mentis said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

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