Harvey Norman has reported a 17.5% increase in total sales for its Australian franchisees for the half year to 31 May, 2020. This follows a slight 0.1% increase for the half year to December and sees sales up 7.4% for FY20 to date.

Two stores in Tasmania were closed for two weeks in April due to a mandated closure of the region by the Tasmanian state government but all other Australian franchised stores remained open throughout the period.

However, it was a mixed bag for overseas operations with Ireland and Malaysia the only two regions recording sales growth (25.4% and 1.3%, respectively), while sales in Slovenia and Croatia were down 5.5%, New Zealand (-7.3%), Singapore (-21.7%) and Northern Ireland (-38.2%), during the same period.

The two company-operated stores in Northern Ireland were closed from 24 March to 8 June 2020. In Singapore, all 12 stores have been closed since 7 April 2020 and it is anticipated stores may re-open in late June 2020. In New Zealand, all stores were temporarily closed from 26 March to 13 May 2020, in Slovenia, all stores were temporarily closed from 16 March to 19 April 2020 and the Croatian store was temporarily closed from 19 March to 26 April 2020.

Harvey Norman shareholders will be paid a special dividend of $0.06 per share on 29 June 2020, after the company withdrew its $0.12 per share dividend in early April due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its potential impact on trading.