Total sales for JB Hi-Fi Group reached $9.2 billion in the financial year to 30 June 2022, an increase of 3.5% on the previous corresponding period. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was up 6.9% to $994.6 million, while net profit after tax (NPAT) rose 7.7% to $544.9 million.

JB Hi-Fi Australia recorded sales growth of 4% to $6.2 billion, led by strong sales in communications, visual, small appliances, smart home and accessories categories. The Good Guys posted a 2.7% increase in sales to $2.8 billion, with strong demand in laundry, portable appliances, floorcare, dishwashers and visual categories. For JB Hi-Fi New Zealand, sales inched up 0.3% to $262.4 million.

Sales momentum was strong throughout the financial year but accelerated in the second half as Covid restrictions eased and customers returned to stores, while continuing to shop online. Online sales were up 52.8% to $1.63 billion, representing 17.6% of total sales compared to 11.9% in FY21.

Despite acknowledging that the retail environment is “increasingly uncertain”, Smart shared a positive outlook for the group.

“We expect the market to continue to be reasonable and this is how we are thinking of it when we are forecasting with suppliers,” he told investors when the retailer released its FY22 results.

“We are a value-driven retailer so if we assume that sales will slow, consumers will gravitate towards value, and we are known for that. If you think of our categories, technology-related products like mobile phones and computers are so integrated into our customers lives that they no longer fall into discretionary items, they are must-have products. Our customers want the latest technology and that is evident every time Apple or Samsung launch a new phone or there’s an upgrade in the computer category.”

Commenting on key work-from-home categories, Smart said these products continue to perform well. “We were tight on stock in some periods during the last financial year but when stock became available, these categories performed at a high level, and we are seeing continued growth. While people are likely to have purchased a computer for home over the last year, they are now upgrading their technology as they settle into working from home for longer periods.”

He added: “When we look at The Good Guys – and JB Home to an extent – the focus is on the replacement market and the opportunity has always been to upsell. We provide great value for first home buyers and more importantly for those who have had their fridge or washing machine break down because it needs to be replaced and that’s where we see the benefit of our business model,” he said.