Harvey Norman has posted strong third quarter results, driven by an increase in global sales and helped by an appreciation in foreign currencies.

Sales from franchised Harvey Norman complexes, commercial divisions and other sales outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Croatia, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK), but excluding Singapore, totaled $4.33 billion for the nine months ended 31 March 2014, up 4 per cent when compared to the same period in 2013.

On a like-for-like basis global sales were up 5.2 per cent over the 9-month period from the previous year.

Stronger local currencies helped increase the value of global sales, with the euro appreciating 19.2 per cent, 15.5 per cent appreciation on the pound sterling and the New Zealand dollar appreciating 13.4 per cent from the same period last year.

Over the 9-month period, Ireland was the top performing country, with global sales increasing 23.2 per cent on the previous year, when measured in Australian dollars.

By comparison, Australian global sales increased just 1.5 per cent. So far this financial year, five Harvey Norman franchised complexes and one Joyce Mayne store in Australia have closed. In the same period Australian sales increased 3.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Northern Ireland was the only region where sales are decreasing, down 6.3 per cent in comparison to the same nine months the year before. Two company stores in Northern Ireland have stopped selling electrical and computer goods and have been converted to only sell furniture and bedding.

On a like-for-like basis, Northern Ireland’s results paint a more positive picture, with sales up 38.9 per cent over the nine months when measured in Australian dollars.

Across the pond, two new company operated stores were opened in New Zealand where global sales were up 12.3 per cent for the nine month period when measured in Australian dollars.