Christmas sales boost Michael Hill’s margins

(Source: MichaelHillJ/Facebook)

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International says “pent-up demand” and “strong economic conditions” boosted sales in its December half.

In a trading update of unaudited accounts for the period ending January 1, the business says sales grew 11.7 per cent to A$363.3 million.

Earnings before income and taxes are expected to range between $52 million to $55 million.

By segment, the Australian business registered an 18 per cent increase to $190.6 million, New Zealand reported a 13.8 per cent increase to NZ$76.3 million while Canada reported a marginal 0.5 per cent increase to C$92.2 million.

Groupwide digital sales fell 9 per cent as consumers returned to physical stores.

Daniel Bracken, CEO and MD at Michael Hill, said the company performed well in the second quarter of last year.

“While record sales were a highlight, equally pleasing was our ability to maintain elevated margins despite significant input cost pressures and increased promotional activity in the market.”

The company opened two new stores and closed one underperforming store in Australia during the half and opened one store in Canada.

It also transitioned to a new global headquarters built with a high-tech distribution centre and a reimagined artisanal jewellery workshop.

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