Confidence growing as Harvey Norman nets sales increase

Confidence growing as Harvey Norman nets sales increase

Positive three months rounding out the 2008 financial year sets the retail franchise up well for 2009

ASX-listed retailer, Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN), has enjoyed a solid three-month run to the end of the financial year.

In a release to the ASX, the retailer announced an increase of 3.8 per cent in sales for the financial year ended June 30, 2009, with a total of $6.03 billion in sales from outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Ireland (excluding Singapore).

For the fourth quarter in Australia, ending June 30, 2009, sales from franchised stores increased by 6.7 per cent in comparison to the same quarter in 2008.

Harvey Norman general manager for computers and communications, Luke Naish, said the computing and electronics division exceeded those numbers with a reasonable April, accelerating May and very strong June.

“It’s been a buyer’s market,” Naish said. “Government initiatives such as the 50 per cent rebates on offer to families with school aged children and SMB customers have helped, and we’ve been aggressive with marketing and promotion.”

Margins continued to be under pressure. This would not let up, Naish said, but he was more confident in the market than he was six months ago.

“We’re cautiously optimistic about the rest of the 2009 calendar year,” he said. “There are some good signs from international data, and people buy on confidence levels.”

The positive results for the retail chain came despite it finding the need to close its OFIS-branded franchise earlier in the year.

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