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Harvey Norman Sales Soft, Gerry Claims Consumers Not Spending

By David Richards | Monday | 04/11/2013

Harvey Norman sales have only managed to climb 1.2% vs 8.1% reported by arch rival JB Hi Fi in Q1, the group has also closed two more stores as sales dry up for the big retailer.

"Consumers are not buying anymore" claims Gerry Harvey who today reported less than impressive results. 

Sales in Harvey Norman's Australian division rose 1.2%, while like for like sales in rose almost 3%  for first quarter fiscal 2014. In Northern Ireland sales ell by 53.7 per cent.

However, this is far less than the 8.1% growth rival JB Hi Fi reported in Q1. 

Harvey Norman global sales jumped 1.37B for three months to September quarter  - up 2.7%.  

Global comparable sales globally were up 4.3%, including operations in Ireland, Slovenia New Zealand Croatia. The rise was attributed to positive appreciation of the Euro and UK pound, however, sales slumped 53% in its Northern Ireland operation. 

It appears that Gerry Harvey is not happy with the result.

''All the business people you talk to are very happy with the election victory but it hasn't translated into anything other than higher consumer confidence," he said today. 

''Everyone you talk to says [consumers are] more confident but are not buying anymore.''

''Consumer confidence is higher,'' he admits,  ''but it hasn't translated into better business, now that wouldn't be right if you spoke to real estate agents selling houses and units at the moment.

During the quarter, two HN stores were closed in Australia . Harvey Norman  Q1 profit (before tax) hit  $58.2million  - up 16.2%  compared to the same time last year,  preliminary accounts for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 September, shows.

Despite the  lack of post election boom, Harvey Norman stores "look forward to a good Christmas trading period," CFO Chris Mentis said today  

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