Australia performs poorly, Ireland improving in Harvey Norman global sales

By Claire Reilly

Harvey Norman announced first quarter sales results for its global store network yesterday, with total sales in Australia falling by 11.5 per cent year-on-year – the poorest performance across the company. Like-for-like sales were down by 8.7 per cent across Australia, compared to a 1.3 per cent decline in total and like-for-like sales for New Zealand.

In addition, profit before tax and minority interests for the company stood at $50.1 million for the quarter, down from the prior corresponding quarterly figure of $62.8 million. This equates to a 20.3 per cent decline in profits.

Global sales for Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Croatia, Ireland and Northern Ireland fell by 10 per cent compared to the Q1 2012, with Northern Ireland showing strong growth, Ireland falling slightly and Slovenia/Croatia seeing a 26 per cent boost in total sales but a 22 per cent drop in like-for-like sales.

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For the 3 months ended 30 September 2012, the company closed 6 stores, 5 of which had been previously rebranded from Clive Peeters and Rick Hart shopfronts. The company also announced that it took on 5 small-format Retravision stores during the quarter, following the collapse of Retravision Southern.

Speaking about the results was Harvey Norman chief financial officer, Chris Mentis.

“Technology and entertainment sales continue to be affected by the cautious consumer and continued price deflation,” he said. “Harvey Norman franchisees continue to drive their number one market share in television.

“The launch of Windows 8 globally on 27 October 2012 saw more than 35 new devices released to the market. White goods, cooking, small appliances, furniture and bedding remain solid.”

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