JB Hi-Fi reports 47% lift in NZ sales

Retailer continues with planned expansion

Technology retailer JB Hi-Fi has reported significant sales growth in New Zealand for the six months ended December 2008, with overall sales surging 47%.

"Comparable store" sales were up 11.3%, a result the company describes as "pleasing given the weak NZ economy and competitive market". Gross margins were described as "stable".

JB Hi-Fi is planning to open 150 stores in total in Australia and New Zealand at the rate of 13 to 15 a year. It currently has 101 stores. According to the report new stores are planned for St Lukes, in Auckland, and Wellington.

Overall, JB Hi-Fi's sales were up 27.6%, from A$988.5 million to $A1.26 billion, from the same period a year earlier. The company is forecasting sales of A$2.35 billion for the full year ended June 2009.

JB Hi-Fi reaped A$93.5 million in sales from its New Zealand business in the year ended June 2008 out of total customer revenue of A$1.8 billion. Before interest and tax the New Zealand business lost A$4.7 million, while the group overall made a net profit of A$65.1 million.

In March 2007, JB Hi-Fi bought the Hill & Stewart appliance chain as part of its New Zealand growth effort.