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Harvey Norman grows sales despite pressures

Harvey Norman grows sales despite pressures

Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) said its sales for FY11 grew slightly despite the pressures of exchange rates, cautious consumer spending and price deflation.

The company reported sales for the year of $6.18 billion, up 1.7% year-on-year. But on a like-for-like basis, sales fell 3.6%.

Takings had been impacted by a 3.8% deterioration in value of the New Zealand dollar, a 12.3% slump in the Euro and a 10% decline in the UK pound.

On a constant currency basis, Australia sales grew 3.3% overall, but fell 2.8% on a like-for-like basis.

In a market update, Harvey Norman said its computer franchisee sales continue to be affected by slow consumer spending and intense competition.

But it expressed confidence that tablets, smartphones and all-in-one computer products would “offer growth opportunities” for the segment in the current year.

Electrical sales were impacted by price deflation, particularly in the television category, and the company warned that deflation will continue to dampen revenue growth in FY12.

Harvey Norman also switched off the lights for its Clive Peeters and Rick Hart branded electrical and whitegoods stores.

Announcing that the brands “have not achieved the requirement for ongoing investment,” Harvey Norman said it would convert 18 of the 25 stores into Harvey Norman or Joyce Mayne complexes and shut down the remainder.

The closure of the seven stores will result in a charge against Harvey Norman's pre-tax profit of around $10 million in FY12, Harvey Norman said.

HVN shares grew 8.89% on Wednesday to $1.960.

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