Australia drags on Michael Hill

michaelhill, jewellery,Jewellery chain Michael Hill International says a drop in same store sales in its biggest market of Australia in the first nine months will put pressure on its full year result.

Australia continued to be a difficult market for the group, with same store sales down 2.1 per cent to A$220.8 million in the nine months ended March 31.

On an all store basis for Australia, sales were down one per cent to A$229 million.

Chairman, Michael Hill, said management was focused on correcting the downward trend in Australia and there was still a full quarter to go before the full year result.

Overall, the retailer had same store sales growth of 0.9 per cent to A$358 million and all stores up 3.5 per cent to A$382 million.

New Zealand continued to trade well, up 4.8 per cent to NZ$87.4 million (A$85.93 million) while all stores rose 4.3 per cent to NZ$88 million.

Canada same store sales rose 2.9 per cent up C$47.9 million (A$49.8 million) and overall sales growth up 15.5 per cent to C$60.6 million.

The US also had a good result with same store growth of 7.2 per cent to US$6.3 million (A$8.20 million) and overall sales growth up 14.2 per cent to US$8.2 million.

The company opened 11 new Michael Hill stores and closed two during the first nine months, taking total stores to 287 and lifting total revenue by 3.5 per cent.

The group said, as mentioned in the 2014 annual report, it was continuing to refine and test the Emma & Roe retail model and, consequently, this trading update didn’t include financial information for those stores. Two additional Emma & Roe stores opened during the period taking the total to eight stores.

Michael Hill reported a half year profit of A$23.7 million, up 45.9 per cent.



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