By James Wells

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman Holdings today announced sales for the four months to the end of October increased by 18 per cent compared to a year earlier, as the retailer continues in its bid to attract disillusioned Retravision NSW stores by rebranding the stores.

“The directors of Harvey Norman Holdings Limited announce that sales from the franchised Harvey Norman stores, commercial divisions and other sales outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Ireland (excluding Singapore and Rebel Sports Ltd) totaled $1.666 billion for the four months ended 31 October 2006,” Harvey Norman chief financial officer, Chris Mentis, said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

“However, when compared to sales for the period 1 July 2005 to 31 October 2005, the increase was 18 per cent. Like for like sales for the four months ended 31 October 2006, when compared to the same period last year, have increased by 7.9 per cent,” Mentis said in the statement.

As recently as yesterday, Harvey Norman chief operating officer, John Slack-Smith said he was continuing dialogue with a number of Retravision NSW stores who may not migrate to either Retravision Vic-Tas or Retravision Queensland under a deed of company arrangement passed by creditors in Sydney yesterday.

Up to 50 Retravision NSW stores currently remain undecided on their future. Other than migrating to the adjacent Retravision sister states, the options available to them include joining another buying group including Harvey Norman, Narta or the newly-created BSR business which offers Betta Electrical and Chandlers franchises.