The Courier-Mail

Harvey Norman net profit rockets

- TREVOR CHAPPELL

CUSTOMERS stocking up on goods for their new homes have boosted Harvey Norman’s bottom line and chairman Gerry Harvey expects the trend to continue.

The furniture and electrical goods retailer’s full-year net profit jumped 26.6 per cent to $268.1 million, from $211.70 million last year.

Excluding property revaluatio­ns, annual net profit was up 19 per cent to $261.84 million, from $220.1 million.

“The outlook for the property market in Australia remains positive, particular­ly new starts, renovation expenditur­e, and secondary market clearance rates,” Mr Harvey said. “I remain positive about the outlook for Harvey Norman.”

Mr Harvey said the group’s franchisee­s were performing strongly, gaining market share and had a good start to the new financial year.

From July 1, 2015, to August 27, 2015, sales from franchisee stores were up 5.5 per cent, with same-store sales up 6.6 per cent on the previous correspond­ing period.

Mr Harvey said the 2015 results were good and showed the strength of the group’s mix of retail, franchisin­g, property and digital operations.

“In what is still a generally challengin­g retail environmen­t, we have seen further improvemen­t in the performanc­e of each of our business segments,” he said.

The group’s investment in its physical stores, online sales, and mobile and social media platforms was paying dividends.

Sales from the company’s Australian franchisee stores on a like-for-like basis rose 4.5 per cent to $4.92 billion.

Strong homewares sales were bolstered by a resilient residentia­l property market, especially in NSW where more than 35 per cent of Harvey Norman complexes are.

The Federal Government’s small-business tax initiative­s in the May 2015 budget had also helped to boost franchisee sales revenue in the last quarter. The retailer will pay a fullyfrank­ed final dividend of 11 a share. Its shares closed 10 lower at $4.42.

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