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JB Hi-Fi record half unaffected by Christmas slowdown

Richard Murray
CEO of JB Hi-Fi Group Richard Murray.

Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi avoided the slower Christmas trade experienced by several other retailers, reporting record sales and earnings in the first half of FY20.

Total sales grew 3.9 per cent to $4 billion due to positive comparable growth across the chains Australia and New Zealand businesses as well as The Good Guys, leading to an 8.9 per cent rise in net profit to $174.4 million.

Australian comparable sales rose 4.4 per cent, while total local sales grew 5.1 per cent to $2.72 billion. Online sales accounted for 6.3 per cent of total local sales, up 18.3 per cent on the prior corresponding period to $170.8 million. 

Growth in earnings was driven by the strong sales growth, with earnings before interest and tax growing 6.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period to $204.5 million. 

Comparable sales and total sales in New Zealand stores rose 0.8 per cent with online representing 7.3 per cent of total sales, up 22.3 per cent to NZ$9.6 million. 

“We are pleased to have delivered positive comparable sales growth in the first half in New Zealand as we cycled very strong sales in the prior year,” Jb Hi-Fi group chief executive Richard Murray said. 

“We are encouraged by the improvements made over the last 18 months and remain focused on delivering on our plan to reposition our New Zealand business.”

The Good Guys business also saw sales growth, with total sales up 1.5 per cent to $1.15 billion, while comparable sales grew 0.6 per cent. While third party marketplace sales fell over the half, this was partially offset by a 12.6 per cent rise in online sales to $79.6 million.

According to Murray, sales at The Good Guys improved over the course of the half culminating in a successful Christmas period. 

“In a competitive environment we remained focused on growing sales and market share in a sustainable manner whilst continuing to evolve the business,” Murray said. 

Murray said the group is clear on its objectives and is excited by the outlook for the remainder of the year, expecting total sales for FY20 to reach $7.33 billion and net profit to fall between $265 and $270 million – a 6.1 to 8.1 per cent increase on the prior year.

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