Harvey Norman Q3 sales edge higher

By a staff reporter, with AAP

Harvey Norman Ltd has posted a modest lift in third quarter sales, with the retailer saying it had noticed a stabilisation of the market despite the stubbornly high Australian dollar.

In the three months to March 31, Harvey Norman's global sales totalled $1.28 billion, a minor increase of 0.6 per cent from the previous corresponding quarter.

Like-for-like sales in the quarter, which strip out store openings and closures, lifted two per cent.

Harvey Norman's year to date global sales came in at $4.17 billion, five per cent lower than the $4.39 billion recorded in the previous corresponding period.

Like-to-like sales on a year-to-date basis were 3.2 per cent lower.

The retailer's total Australian sales in the third-quarter increased 0.1 per cent, year-on-year, after two quarters of negative results.

Third quarter like-for-like sales in Australia also lifted for the first time in three quarters, by 1.5 per cent.

Harvey Norman said its technology categories were weak but the market appeared to be stabilising.

However, home appliances, furniture and bedding continues to perform strongly.

The company continued to close down its Clive Peeters and Rick Hart businesses. 

During the quarter, seven of the Clive Peeters and Rick Hart stores were closed while a further nine were rebranded either as Harvey Norman or Joyce Mayne.

New Zealand was the best performing region for Harvey Norman, with a 7.7 per cent increase in total sales over the period.

Northern Ireland was the weakest region for sales, falling 61.5 per cent.after Harvey Norman discontinued its television and computer category in the country. 

Comparable sales in Northern Ireland for the quarter only decreased by 4.1 per cent.