11 Jan 2013

Lean Christmas for jewellery chain

12:10 pm on 11 January 2013

Michael Hill International struggled over the Christmas trading period, with consumers reluctant to spend and its competitors held sales.

The jewellery chain, which has 240 stores throughout New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States, said sales in the lead-up to Christmas fell short of expectations.

After a stellar September quarter, Michael Hill said sales in the final three months of last year were flat, resulting in a rise in total same store sales of just 2.6% for the past six months.

Chief financial officer Phil Taylor said that was well behind a lift of 3% - 5% in sales that Michael Hill was hoping for in the lead-up to Christmas.

He said the company will review its December performance, to see what can be improved.

MHI now expects full year earnings to be on par with last year, at between $34 - $36 million.