14 Feb 2012

NZ stores out-perform Australian business

10:10 am on 14 February 2012

Discount electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi's New Zealand stores have outshone the Australian business in the six-month profit results.

The company recorded a larger-than-expected fall in half-yearly profit due to what it called challenging conditions in the retail sector.

JB Hi-Fi, which has 13 stores in New Zealand and 152 in Australia, reported net profit of nearly $A80 million in the six months to the end of December 2011, down 9% on its previous first-half result.

However, New Zealand sales jumped 28% to nearly $NZ125 million, while profit rose to $2.2 million from a loss of $1.1 million in the same six months of 2010.

The company says it is getting good traction, with the brand resonating with the New Zealand consumer.

JBHiFi says, while it made solid gains in its market share in New Zealand, it is an aggressive sector to be trading in.

Chief executive Terry Smart says consumers are suffering from "promotional fatigue" and had not reacted as well to post-Christmas offers as in previous years.

The company says it expects its full-year sales to rise 5% to about $A3.1 billion for the year.