Harveys posts sales increase, blames Ireland for profit loss

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman has released sales figures for the first two months of new financial year, and profit guidance for the remaining 10 months.

In the report to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Harvey Norman chief financial officer Chris Mentis writes that sales from the franchised stores in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Ireland (but not Singapore) totaled $991.86 million for the period 1 July 2008 to 31 August 2008. Mentis reports that this represents an increase of 6.9 per cent on the same period last year.

Additionally, like for like sales for these two months increased by 5 per cent.

This equates to a profit before tax and minority interests of $47.7 million over the two months. This is down 18.3 per cent on the corresponding 2007 period – a real money reduction of $10.6 million.

Over half of this loss comes solely from the Irish operations, which lost $5.6 million. Mentis reports that, “the company has no reason to believe that trading conditions in Ireland will improve in the near future.”

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