Dick Smith announces resilient sales while Masters powers on

By Patrick Avenell

Dick Smith Electronics has recorded solid sales for the first six months of the 2012 financial year. The Australian stores in the network registered $731 million in sales, up 0.7 per cent from the previous corresponding half year, while Woolworths’ total consumer electronics business grew 2 per cent to $1.06 billion.

The second quarter of the half year, which incorporated Christmas, was particularly strong for Dick Smith’s Australian stores, with 4.8 per cent growth compared to the previous year.

“This is a good result for the business with second quarter sales being particularly strong in a difficult and very competitive trading environment,” said Woolworths general manager, consumer electronics, Debra Singh.

“The new format stores, which are now 74 per cent of the total share network, also continue to outperform older format stores and achieved sales growth of 8.7 per cent. These stores delivered strong comparable sales growth of 5.2 per cent for the second quarter.”

Singh reported that Woolworths opened 16 new Dick Smith stores during the half year and closed 23, bringing the total number to 320.

Earlier this year, reports began circulating that Woolworths would significantly contract its consumer electronic business.

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Meanwhile, Woolworths recorded a 26.6 per cent jump in home improvement sales — from $177 million to $224 million — due mainly to the continued rollout of its Masters large format DIY stores.

“We are pleased with the trading to date for our Masters stores, with customer feedback very positive in relation to the new home improvement offering,” said CEO, home improvement, Don Stallings. “We have a strong pipeline of new store openings for the remainder of the year and continue to focus on ensuring the smooth rollout of these stores.”

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