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Strong Holiday Sales Save Michael Hill

Feb 24, 2022 4:57 AM   By Rapaport News
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Revenue at Michael Hill rose 2.3% year on year to AUD 327.1 million ($234.9 million) in the first fiscal half as strong sales over the Christmas holiday period outweighed store closures.

Same-store sales — at retail locations open for at least a year — grew 11% to AUD 306.5 million ($220.1 million) for the six months ending December 26, the Australian jeweler said Wednesday. The company also benefited from new marketing campaigns and a strong e-commerce performance. Net profit slipped 1% to AUD 37.1 million ($26.6 million).

The growth comes even amid an increase in store lockdowns. During the period, Michael Hill missed 9,777 store-trading days due to global lockdowns, nearly triple the 3,709 days it was unable to conduct in-person business in the previous year.

Online sales for the July-to-December period increased 37% to AUD 26.7 million ($19.2 million), representing 8% of total company revenue. A year earlier, e-commerce sales represented 6% of total revenue.

“We experienced significant disruption across Australia and New Zealand throughout the half,” said Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken. “I’m particularly proud of the successful planning and execution of [the] Christmas trade, which delivered Michael Hill’s best second quarter in the company’s history.”

During the first eight weeks of the second half, Michael Hill stores in Australia and Canada saw “significantly lower foot traffic” due to the rise in Covid-19 Omicron cases, the company said. Group same-store sales were flat, while total sales rose 14% year on year. While Valentine’s Day provided some positive momentum, the jeweler is concerned the pandemic will impact New Zealand in the coming weeks, it noted.

“Looking beyond the first two months of the half, whilst still navigating uncertain trading conditions, the business will continue to pivot from transformation to growth,” Bracken added.

Image: A Michael Hill store in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Australia, Covid-19 Omicron, Daniel Bracken, jeweler, Jewelry, Michael Hill, Rapaport News
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