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Harvey Norman sales hit by tight computer market

Harvey Norman sales hit by tight computer market

Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) said its Australian sales for the first nine months of FY11 were impacted by tough conditions in the computer products market.

The company said Australian like-for-like sales – the proportion of sales comparative with Harvey Norman's activities of the previous corresponding period – fell 2.6% in constant currencies.

Harvey Norman said computer franchisee sales had been hit by cautious consumer spending as well as price deflation in the laptop market, exacerbated by the strong Australian dollar.

But gaming console, digital SLR camera and smartphone products were performing more strongly, and coupled with growth in the tablet market “have the franchisee well positioned to maximise the technology product opportunities throughout 2011,” the company said.

Australian electrical franchisees are “continuing to operate their business in an extremely difficult environment,” Harvey Norman added.

Global like-for-like sales fell 3.5% for the year to date. These sales had been negatively affected by deterioration in the value of the New Zealand dollar, the Euro and the UK pound, Harvey Norman said.

But total global sales grew 1.4% year-on-year for the year to date, and 1.6% in the third quarter.

HVN shares fell 1.05% on Thursday's to $2.820.

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