Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) continued to roll out new stores in the first half of FY19 while profit rose 5.5 per cent to reach $160.1 million.
The result aligns with forecasts from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan that Christmas sales would be "bountiful" for stores specialising in electronics.
In an announcement today, group CEO Richard Murray highlighted record sales and earnings for the first half across its three divisions, which apart from the namesake Australian business include JB Hi-Fi New Zealand and The Good Guys.
In Australia, JB Hi-Fi sales were up 4.7 per cent to $2.59 billion, buoyed by the opening of four new stores while while comparable sales rose 3 per cent.
The retailer also picked up its e-commerce game with a 22.1 per cent uptick in online sales to $144.4 million.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand total sales were up 5.8 per cent to NZD131.8 million ($125.6 million).
"We are encouraged by the improved performance in New Zealand, particularly the strong comparable sales growth which is evidence that our offer is resonating with customers," says Murray.
"We continue to reposition the business which has included the closure of a loss making store in July, and in October the appointment of a local Managing Director, Cherie Kerrison."
The growth in sales was slightly lower for The Good Guys at 2.8 per cent reaching $1.13 billion, with comparable sales up 1.5 per cent. Key growth categories included refrigeration, laundry, floorcare, televisions, communications and computers.
"We are pleased to deliver positive sales and earnings growth in the first half of FY19, a significant improvement on our performance in the second half of FY18," says Murray.
"In a competitive environment we remained focused on sales and market share whilst continuing to evolve the business. We enter the second half excited by the opportunity to continue growing one of Australia's leading retail brands."
The group opened four JB Hi-Fi Australia stores and two Good Guys stores in the first half, while another JB Hi-Fi store is due to open this half as well.
The group has forecast total sales of around $7.1 billion for FY19.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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