By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman’s sales have rebounded in the final quarter of the financial year, but not enough to stop the company posting its first single digit sales growth figure in at least a decade. 

Quarterly sales reached $1.43 billion for all stores worldwide, again excluding Singapore, a 5.2 per cent rise on the same time last year.

Like for like sales for the quarter rose three per cent.

As a result, full FY08 sales rose 8.7 per cent, taken from all stores worldwide, excluding Singapore, to $5.81 billion, up from $5.31 billion in FY07.

Like for like sales rose by 4.4 per cent, the company said.

The results reflect chairman Gerry Harvey’s gloom assessment of the company’s outlook made in May, when he spoke exclusively to a day before the third quarter results were due.

At the time, Harvey said that, “July to December was pretty good. January to June is not going to be nearly as good".

The poor showing is highlighted by the fact that according to the ASX, Harvey Norman has not had a financial year without double digit growth as far back as records go – 1998.

This year’s numbers also show just how far the local economy has slowed, with FY07 figures showing whole group sales including Domayne and Joyce Mayne, grew at double this years’ at 16.5 per cent.