Harvey Norman continue to aim for 15 new stores per year

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Gerry Harvey, chairman of Harvey Norman, outlined the company’s ongoing domestic and international expansion plans in a statement released today and in other news Chris Mentis was appointed as an executive director on the board.

According to the report released to the Australian Stock Exchange today, Harvey Norman is committed to growth and is extremely well placed to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

The company states:

“Growth will be leveraged by our commitment to improve our technology and supply chain management systems.

Our core competencies include the capacity to identify and acquire property for the development of Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne retail complexes in strategic growth areas, as an essential element of our integrated retail and property strategy.

We will continue our rollout of new stores into the 2008 financial year. Our previously stated goal of a minimum of 15 new sites per annum will be achieved this year in addition to an active program of store upgrades, refurbishment and enhancement. We are actively looking for additional key sites to expand the Joyce Mayne brand into other regions, as well as investigating other retail opportunities in the New Zealand market. We have identified strategic growth opportunities in Malaysia.

Expansion into the Irish market has proven to be successful. There are currently 10 Harvey Norman stores in Ireland which have been performing to expectations. We anticipate opening at least four new stores in Ireland in the next 12 months. We plan to capitalise on the strong brand awareness in the Irish market and move into Northern Ireland, having identified three sites for new stores. Success in the Irish market will be the platform for expansion into neighbouring markets.

Our strong financial position and low gearing places us in an excellent position to capitalise on any competitor failure in the market place.”

In the 12 months to 30 June 2007, the following new stores in the Harvey Norman group were opened:

Harvey Norman:

NSW: Cobar, Newcastle West, Raymond Terrace, Salamander Bay, Muswellbrook, West Wyalong, Temora, Windsor, Lithgow. QLD: Cannonvale. WA: Malaga. NT: Alice Springs. New Zealand: Whakatane, Paraparaumu, Lowerhutt, Ashburton. Ireland: Naas, Drogheda. Slovenia: Koper.

Domayne:

NSW: Belrose

Joyce Mayne:

NSW: Muswellbrook, Bennetts Green, Wallsend, Dubbo, Toukley, Warners Bay, Wagga Wagga, Young, Albury, Maitland.

The groups also closed five stores in the 12 months to 30 June 2007 and re-branded one as follows:

NSW: Harvey Norman Marrickville, Joyce Mayne Mt. Druitt, Joyce Mayne McGraths Hill (re-branded to Harvey Norman)

QLD: Harvey Norman Coorparoo, Burleigh Heads

WA: Harvey Norman Fremantle

In another statement released today by Harvey Norman CEO, Katie Page, the board of Harvey Norman announced the appointment of Chris Mentis as an Executive Director on the board.

Mentis joined Harvey Norman as Financial Controller on 15 December 1997. On 20 April 2006, he became Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary. He is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Secretary with over 19 years experience in the accounting field.

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