11 Jul 2013

Flat Michael Hill result due to market conditions - analyst

7:01 am on 11 July 2013

An analyst says the Michael Hill International is experienced at dealing with weak retailing environments and although its fourth quarter sales were weak, its profitability probably won't be affected.

On Tuesday, the jewellery company said June quarter sales in its key Australian market were flat and sales in its other three markets, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, fell.

Overall, sales through stores open 12 months or more, a key indicator, fell 5.8% in the three months to the end of June.

Milford Asset Management investment analyst Victoria Harris said the company knows how to manage through difficult times.

She said the company has been around for a long time and it has continued to perform quite strongly.

Ms Harris said they have been through weak retail environments and know how to deal with that and off-set it, as well as having a great management team.

She said the flat result is likely to have stemmed from market conditions rather than Michael Hill as a retailer.

But Ms Harris said the good performance in the first half of the year has been undone by second half's poor performance.

"It's not a very good trend, definitely the fourth quarter has been their worst for the year, hopefully we'll see a pick-up in the first quarter next year."