Aug 15 (Reuters) - Australia's JB Hi-Fi said on
Monday its domestic sales were strong in the new financial year
after the electronics retailer reported a nearly 8% jump in
annual profit and raised its dividend by more than a tenth.
"The group is pleased with its start to FY23, with continued
sales momentum and strong sales growth rates over a three-year
period," the country's no.2 retailer said, as comparable sales
in July grew 9.2% at its domestic business and 7.8% at its The
Good Guys brand.
JB Hi-Fi was one of the beneficiaries of the COVID-19
pandemic as work-from-home mandates meant higher demand for
With the easing of COVID curbs, the company was able to
reopen all of its stores in the latter half of the financial
year, while online sales soared over 52.8% and JB Hi-Fi
maintained a leash on costs.
While the cost of doing business in Australia rose, in line
with higher inflation in the country, the company said expenses
remained low due to "continued focus on productivity, minimising
unnecessary expenditure and leveraging scale."
That partly helped it raise its full-year dividend to A$3.16
a share from A$2.87 a year ago.
Net profit attributable rose to A$544.9 million ($387.8
million) for the year ended June 30, compared with A$506.1
million a year ago.
"Sales trends remained strong through July as expected ...
We believe demand will eventually soften and do not expect a
material share price move," Jefferies analysts said in a note.
Comparable sales at JB's New Zealand business, which has
been underperforming its Australian counterpart, shrank about 1%
The company said it had completed a strategic review of the
New Zealand business and appointed former Warehouse Group
executive Tim Edwards as managing director of the unit
to lead a turnaround.
($1 = 1.4049 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Daniel Wallis,
Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)