Harvey Norman expects uptake of tablets to increase growth

The retail giant indicates sales in its computer division were influenced by a competitive market driven by cautious consumers

Retail giant, Harvey Norman, has reported a slight increase of 1.3 per cent to $3.31 billion, for the first six months of FY11.

This includes Harvey Norman branded outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, like-for-like sales decreased 3.1 per cent, compared to the previous half-year.

The retailer indicated sales in its computer division were influenced by a very competitive market that was driven by cautious consumers. This also led to an increase in price deflation across laptop machines for the first half. It experienced positive contributions from the digital SLR camera, smart phone and gaming console categories.

Harvey Norman is expecting the uptake of tablet devices will contribute to its growth in the computer market in the second half of the 2011 financial year.

Price deflation of about 30 per cent has also compromised revenue growth within its electrical business.

“Manufacturers are indicating that this trend will continue during the calendar year 2011, although not at the levels of 2010,” Harvey Norman said in statement to the ASX. “Despite tough conditions, television market share has grown during the half. This is due to the strong trading partnerships with key suppliers and continued focus on technology sectors within the television market.”