Retailer JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) is backing itself with a $250 million off-market share buy-back after reporting continued strong financial performance and cashflow generation, which in the December half was delivered through more than $420 million in earnings.
This may represent a 9.1 per cent decline year-over-year but is up 59.9 per cent compared to two years ago, giving the board confidence to return up to $437 million in capital to shareholders between the buy-back and dividends.
Online sales continued to skyrocket in the six-month period, growing 62.6 per cent to $1.1 billion - equivalent to the entire online sales in FY21 for the group, which includes its eponymous electronics retailer in Australia and New Zealand as well as The Good Guys.
The group notes it has continued to invest in online and supply chain, including upgrades to its websites and distribution centres and expanded delivery options, with online now accounting for more than a fifth of revenue.
The group also provided a January update that bucked the trend of lower consumer confidence due to shadow lockdowns, with total Australian JB Hi-Fi sales in the month up 4.3 per cent and The Good Guys figures up 2.5 per cent.
"We are pleased to report strong sales and earnings for HY22," says group CEO Terry Smart.
"We continued to see elevated demand across all of our sales channels, particularly online which our customers seamlessly transitioned to during the various lockdowns demonstrating the strength and trust in our brands."
However, JB Hi-Fi will not be providing FY22 sales and earnings guidance in light of the ongoing uncertainty arising from COVID-19.
"While it remains an uncertain retail environment, we will continue to stay focused on what we can control," says Smart.
"Our highly engaging in-store and online shopping experiences delivered by our passionate and knowledgeable team members, and our continued focus on leveraging our scale to deliver great value will ensure we meet our customers’ needs during these challenging times.
"I would again like to thank our over 13,000 team members whose unwavering focus on the customer has delivered another strong result."
JBH shares were up 5.28 per cent at $51.64 at the time of writing.
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