JB HiFi rises up from tough tech market

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JB HiFi rises up from tough tech market

JB HiFi has battled through a difficult consumer technology market in 2012 to post a jump in both sales and net profit for the first half of fiscal 2013.

The retail giant today reported net profit of $82.1 million for the first half of 2013, ended 31 December, from $79.6 million in the first half of 2012.

Hardware sales grew 6.5 percent, driven by computers and IT, cameras and telecommunications, while software sales fell just under 5 percent. Revenue was also up, to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion in the previous corresponding period. 

Online sales grew 40 percent to represent 2 percent of sales, but JB HiFi’s TV category continued to fall, down 11 percent.

CEO Terry Smart said the company was pleased with the result, but a decline in the TV category had dragged down growth.

“The industry has seen TV sales decline over the past few years as the category moves towards a more typical replacement driven sales market,” he said in a statement to the ASX.

The retailer opened 11 stores in the past half-year, merged four JB HiFi and Clive Anthony outlets into JB HiFi Home stores, and closed three. It expects to open 15 over the full year, bringing its total to 189 as part of its overall target of 214 across Australia and New Zealand. 

It forecast full year 2013 sales to come in at $2.3 billion, with net profit hitting around $110 million. 

For its fiscal year 2012, JB HiFi reported a drop in net profit of 22 percent to $104.6 million, despite an increase in net sales from $2.96 billion to $3.13 billion.

The company's share price was at $11 before open this morning.

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