By Craig Zammit

IRELAND: Harvey Norman’s Ireland business, consisting of ten stores across the country, has reported a rise in sales for the year to end June 2006 of 56 per cent, registering sales of €56 million ($A133.7 million).

However, according to the Irish Examiner, pre-tax losses for the year actually increased by €1.2 million ($A2.8 million) to €3.3 million ($A7.8 million), which is likely due to the costs involved in opening six new outlets in Ireland over the 12 months.

Interestingly, the Harvey Norman has incurred losses of almost €10 million ($A23.9 million) since opening its first store in Ireland three years ago.

“The group has incurred losses in its first three year of trading,” a Harvey Norman representative told the Irish Examiner.

“The directors are confident that performance will improve going forward and that the company will be profitable in future years.

“Overheads increased €5.01 million ($A11.9 million) since the prior year end, however when expressed as percentage of sales, overheads decreased from 35.76 per cent of sales in the prior year to 31.7 per cent of sales in the current year, despite the occurrence of some large expenses associated with new store openings.”