By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: A decrease in first quarter like for like global sales of 0.6 per cent from prior year has not deterred Harvey Norman from saying it expects solid Christmas trading conditions.

The giant retailer today released its Q1 global sales, which totalled $1.54 billion. Sales were negatively affected by currency deterioration in the New Zealand dollar, the Euro and the Pound, according to a statement released today on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Australian franchisees sales data revealed that household appliances, whitegoods and cooking have performed strongly alongside computer franchisees, said the report.

The report also said that electrical franchisees experienced positive growth in units in the audio visual category, but that “ongoing price deflation in this market has resulted in weaker revenue for the quarter.”

Understandably, price deflation was listed as one of three reasons that the preliminary profit before tax and interest figures indicate a $37.4 million reduction from the corresponding period last year.

However, the statement concluded by saying, “Upon present assumptions, solid Christmas trading conditions are still expected.”