Boost for Harvey Norman as sales advance by 4.6pc
SALES at Harvey Norman stores in the Republic rose 4.6pc in the quarter to the end of June, helping the Australian retailer stem declines for the full-year period.
The chief executive of the Irish unit, Blaine Callard, said the financial year had been one of "two halves" for the operation. He said sales had been flat before Christmas and that there had then been "some encouraging growth" in the six months to the end of June. Harvey Norman has 14 outlets in the Republic.
The figures -- which don't include a specific revenue breakdown for Ireland -- also show that sales at Harvey Norman's two stores in Northern Ireland rose 3.2pc in the year.
However, they declined by 6.8pc in the last quarter after gaining for each of the three previous quarters.
"Consumer sentiment continues to be very weak and shows no signs of recovering soon," added Mr Callard.
"Big ticket retail sales in furniture and electronics have been hit the hardest, so it's about getting a bigger slice of a smaller pie," he said.
Harvey Norman's Irish division posted a pre-tax loss of over €31m in the year to the end of June 2010, while revenues in the period rose 3pc to €140.2m, according to accounts filed here earlier this year.
Harvey Norman's global like-for-like sales in the latest financial year were down 3.6pc.
The group said that the figure had been impacted by a 3.8pc deterioration in the value of the New Zealand dollar, a 12.3pc deterioration in the euro against the Australian dollar, and a 10pc deterioration in sterling.