Dick Smith posts strong FY08 results

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) has posted $1.4 billion in sales for the 2008 financial year, a rise of nine per cent on FY07.

Joining JB Hi-Fi as the only CE retailer to post a rise in sales over the final quarter of the year, Dick Smith also posted a 16.3 per cent sales increase in Q4.

Comparable sales growth did drop over the quarter, down to 3.8 per cent from 5.8 per cent in Q3, but overall comparative growth for the year came to 4.4 per cent.

Woolworths chief executive, Michael Luscombe, said the recent restructure, which eliminated many previous product lines and changed store layouts, had yielded positive results, with LCD televisions and laptops particularly strong.

However, Luscombe did not specify whether DSE’s sales growth came from increased store numbers, the new store layout and re-branding strategy or all stores increasing sales.

Dick Smith Electronics also fell short of its store opening target for the year, with only 33 of the planned 45 stores for the full year opened.

New Zealand sales had been “particularly tough”, Luscombe said, but pointed out the company had seen a turnaround after new Dick Smith Electronics general manager, Debra Singh, came on board.

More beleaguered retailers may gain hope from Luscombe’s comments that recent tax cuts appeared to have given Big W and Dick Smith “a fantastic start to the year”, as well.

Full profit reports will be available in six weeks’ time, Luscombe said.

Questions other than those from analysts appeared barred, limiting immediate enquiries specific to Dick Smith strategies.

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