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Store Growth Drives Michael Hill Sales Jump

US Business Continues to Struggle, Says Australian Jeweler
Jul 12, 2017 3:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Michael Hill Group saw a 6% sales increase over the last fiscal year as it expanded its store network, the Australia-based jeweler reported.

Revenue rose to $437.3 million (AUD 583 million) for the 12 months ending June 30, the retailer said last week. Overall same-store sales rose 1.5% to $403.9 million (AUD 538.5 million), an improvement from the 0.8% lift the company announced at the end of the third quarter.

“Gross margin will be slightly down for the year, in part due to the tougher-than-expected Australasian market, and in part due to discounting of surplus inventory,” the group said in a statement.

The Michael Hill brand delivered total store sales growth of 5%, bringing in $425.7 million (AUD 567.6 million). The company operated 304 stores under the brand’s name at the end of June — seven more than a year earlier.

In Australia, three new Michael Hill stores opened during the year, and five underperforming locations closed, for a total of 166 in operation as of June 30. Nine stores opened in Canada, bringing the count there to 76. In New Zealand, two new stores opened and one closed during the period, for a net total of 53 stores. In the United States, one store closed, leaving nine open.

“Our US business continued to struggle throughout the year and finished 13.4% down for the same stores,” management said, attributing the closure of the Easton Centre store in Columbus, Ohio, to “sustained poor performance.”

Meanwhile, total sales of the recently launched Emma & Roe brand surged by 62% to $11.6 million (AUD 15.5 million), with 13 new stores opening during the year.

“While same-store sales [at Emma & Roe] were slightly down for the 12 months, we have secured and opened some excellent new locations in both Queensland and New South Wales,” management said.
Tags: David Brough, diamond, diamonds, jewellery, Jewelry, Michael Hill, Rapaport News
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