Sales analysis: Michael Hill identifies positive signs

Sales analysis: Michael Hill identifies positive signs - Artificial Jewellery

Michael Hill International has reported a 4 per cent increase in revenue in the opening half of the financial year despite challenging market conditions. 

Sales closed at $362.7 million for the six months ending 31 December. Online sales represented 8 per cent of total sales for the period, reaching $29.6 million.

Revenue in Australia increased by 10 per cent on a year-on-year comparison to $202.3 million, with same-store sales improving by 6 per cent. Sales in Canada increased by 0.5 per cent.

CEO Daniel Bracken said that while trading remains difficult for retailers, positive signs are emerging. 

“While the economic conditions and retail environment remain challenging in all markets, we are encouraged by our ongoing performance in Canada as a lead indicator and early green shoots in Australia in the second half,” he said.

“Notwithstanding market conditions, the business remains committed to its multi-brand group strategy, with a focus on  elevating the Michael Hill brand and expanding the Bevilles network to continue to take market share.”

Revenue in New Zealand declined by 10 per cent to $NZD65.4 million, with same-store sales decreased by 14 per cent.

During these six months, the company opened four new Bevilles stores and closed five Michael Hill locations. Michael Hill acquired Bevilles in April.

Michael Hill has reported ambitious plans for Bevilles in the years to come, and a spokesperson recently informed Jeweller that the chain is no longer a member of the Jewellers Association of Australia.

“There is no doubt that the first half was a challenging period for much of the discretionary retail sector,” Bracken said. 

“Clearly, margin was under pressure from both input costs and promotional activity, and inflationary forces saw elevated costs across many aspects of the business, which together, impacted EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes] for the half.”

Michael Hill recently announced plans for a new non-profit venture.

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