Michael Hill reports lift in first-half revenue

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 10:17 11/01/2013

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Jeweller Michael Hill has reported an almost 9 per cent lift in first-half revenue to $312.8 million, but says sales for the three months leading into Christmas were disappointing.

The retailer expects its half-year earnings before interest and tax to be relatively flat - between $34m and $36m - compared with $34.8m for the same period year on year.

Same-store sales for the six months ending December were up 2.6 per cent year-on-year to $287.7m.

In a trading update posted to the NZX the retailer said Christmas had fallen short of expectations.

"December quarter sales, including the critical Christmas trading period, fell short of our forecasts and didn't deliver the improvement over last year that the company had expected," the update said.

"However while all four markets struggled to gain traction over last year's sales in the second quarter, it is still pleasing that all four markets achieved solid same-store sales for the half year."

Same-store sales in New Zealand rose 3.1 per cent to $62.5m. Australia saw a lift of 2.6 per cent to $188.4m.

In Canada same-store sales were up 2.1 per cent to $128.8m while in the United States they edged up 0.8 per cent to $6.7m.

The half-year revenue result includes revenues through the company's professional care plans - care and maintenance plans sold along with its jewellery.

The retailer will announce full half-year results next month.

Michael Hill shares last traded at $1.25 on the NZX.

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