JB Hi-Fi cops query on profit downgrade

JB Hi-FiJB Hi-Fi Group has copped a query from the ASX questioning the manner in which it informed the market of its profit downgrade last week.

JB’s share price fell more than 9 per cent last week after it released a trading update to the market within slides presented by chief executive Richard Murray at the Macquarie Australia conference last Wednesday.

The update included a full year net profit downgrade of three per cent, down from the $235-$240 million range to the company’s new expectation of $240 million.

The ASX asked why JB did not provide a standalone market announcement, to which the retailer responded that it did not expect the downgrade to have a material effect on its share price.

In its defence JB cited an ASX guidance note that suggests companies should treat earnings variations equal to or less than five per cent as not being material.

It also reiterated commentary released alongside its original update, saying that short term weather conditions and heightened price competition drove the downgrade.

Last Wednesday JB said The Good Guys’ (TGG) sales declined by 1.3 per cent in the third quarter, while comparable sales were down 2.9 per cent as margins suffered amid efforts to protect market share from elevated competition.

JB Hi-Fi was also unable to keep pace with its double-digit sales growth from the prior corresponding period, booking sales growth of 6.8 per cent for the third quarter, while comparable sales were up 4 per cent.

JB said on Monday that draft sales figures for the third quarter and revised net profit guidance were circulated to the board last Tuesday afternoon, the day before the Macquarie conference, and that the board and management approved the information that evening.

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