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JB Hi-Fi bucks the trend with sales boost

13 Aug 13

JB Hi-Fi has bucked the retail trend, posting an 11% earnings increase in what the company hopes will be a continuing trend.

The Australian electronics retailer revealed a net profit of A$116.4m for its annual financial results, up from $104.6m the previous year.

After seeing first-half New Zealand sales fall by 6% in February, overall, the company reported a 5.7% decline to NZ$209.4m, which CEO Terry Smart attributes to a 'softer' consumer retail market.

"It was pleasing to see positive sales momentum maintained throughout the second half of FY13, and with the company seeing positive comparable sales of 3.2% and total sales growth of 10.3%," Smart says.

"Improved gross margins, ongoing cost control and our emphasis on high levels of customer service, all contributed to a solid overall result."

With 176 stores between Australia and New Zealand, the company expects to open 12 new outlets during FY14m maintaining its stated target of 214 stores.

That said, online sales were strong for the company, up 29.8% during the year, accounting for 2% of total sales.

"New stores continue to perform well as our focus on high foot traffic locations ensures maximum exposure and convenience for customers," Smart adds.

"We continue to evolve and innovate our model, ensuring we not only remain relevant to our existing customers but gain new sales opportunities for now and into the future.

"Our recent entry into the home appliance market has shown early success, with these new categories integrating seamlessly into our existing model and maintaining the unique JB Hi-Fi brand personality."

Outlook

Looking ahead, Smart says the company has enjoyed a "good start" to FY14, with the continuation of the positive comparable sales seen in the second half of FY13.

"We see good growth opportunities ahead with a strong line up of new producers planned for the first half of FY14, growth from our store roll out program and the expansion of the home appliance categories.

"As always, our passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff members continue to be a key competitive advantage."

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