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Holiday Sales Buoy Michael Hill Revenue

Same-store sales up 7% year on year in first half.
Jan 16, 2020 8:33 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...
Michael Hill’s sales rose 6% in the first half of its fiscal year amid strong growth in holiday purchasing and a successful launch of lab-grown diamond jewelry.

Group revenue climbed to AUD 327.3 million ($226.3 million) as higher sales in October and November outweighed weak consumer sentiment at the beginning of December, the jeweler reported Wednesday. Same-store sales — at branches open for at least a year — grew 7% during the six months ending December 31.

“Overall, we are pleased with our result for this all-important second quarter,” said Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken. “The business had a solid October and a very strong November on the back of launching our Christmas campaign early to capitalize on the Black Friday weekend. While the strong shift in consumer behavior saw a significant uplift in November sales in all markets, our sales in early December were somewhat disappointing.”

Same-store sales in Australia, the jeweler’s largest market, rose 3.4%, while those in New Zealand went up 7%. Growth at shops in Canada was 5%.

During the first half, Michael Hill saw positive results from a test of lab-grown diamonds, which it launched in several stores. The jeweler intends to expand its synthetics offering to other stores in its network.

“Our laboratory-grown diamonds trial has been deliberately and carefully deployed across all markets,” Bracken continued. “Early-stage success will now see further investment in this exciting new market space, with additional stores being added in the coming months.”

In the second fiscal quarter, group sales inched up 3.3% to AUD 203.5 million ($140.7 million), while same-store sales increased 4% to AUD 198.1 million ($136.9 million).

Image: A Michael Hill store. (Michael Hill)
Tags: Daniel Bracken, holiday sales, Michael Hill, Rapaport News
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