Continued demand for consumer electronics and home appliances, coupled with “exceptional” online growth and a strong Black Friday sales period, more than offset the impact of temporary store closures for JB Hi-Fi in the first half of FY21, with the retailer recording an 86.2% jump in net profit after tax.

Group sales were up 23.7% while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) lifted 75.9% during the half. Online sales increased 161.7% to $678.8 million and now represent 13.7% of total sales.

The Good Guys recorded the largest growth in sales at 26.4%, closely followed by JB Hi-Fi Australia at 23.3%, with JB Hi-Fi New Zealand reporting growth of 9.1%.

JB Hi-Fi group CEO, Richard Murray said it was a record sales and earnings result for HY21.

“Our continued focus on the customer and investments in our online business and supply chain have enabled us to meet increased demand both instore and online. I would like to thank our over 13,000 team members who have continued to do an incredible job and worked tirelessly throughout the period. Our team members are our number one asset and most important competitive advantage.”

The results update is unaudited and remains subject to further review and finalisation. Audited statutory results will be released on 15 February 2021.

New non-executive director

JB Hi-Fi has appointed Seek Limited group chief financial officer, Geoff Roberts (pictured above) as a non-executive director and member of the audit and risk management committee.

He has over 35 years finance experience, including as managing partner of Deloitte Victoria and group CFO of AXA Asia Pacific for seven years.

JB Hi-Fi chairman, Stephen Goddard said Roberts brings great financial expertise to the board as well as several years’ experience as a senior executive of a major group of high-growth online businesses.

“His skills will complement those of our existing directors and we look forward to working together.”

Roberts has been welcomed as an additional appointee ahead of JB Hi-Fi’s next annual general meeting where he will stand for election.