JB Hi-Fi says first half profit rises 37 pct

JB Hi Fi Must Be Still Selling A Lot Of Games And Consoles Shannon Grixti

JB Hi-Fi has lifted first-half profit 37.4 per cent to $151.7 million after a healthy Christmas sales performance across its expanded store network.

The New Zealand division reported negligible earnings before interest and tax in the six months ended December 31, compared to $1 million a year earlier, which included $400,000 of costs from closing a store, and exiting and rebranding its JB Hi-Fi Home stores, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement.

The board declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 86 Australian cents per share, payable on March 9 with a February 23 record date. As far as online sales go, that improved as well with a 40.6% increase in sales online. "One JB Hi-Fi store was closed and we have exited whitegoods and rebranded the four stores to JB Hi-Fi" from JB Hi-Fi Home.

Sales in the half-year jumped 41 per cent.

On these results, JB's Australian segment is continuing to perform strongly, though the same can't be said of The Good Guys and the New Zealand business.

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JB Hi-Fi expects group profit to be between $235 million and $240 million, an increase of 13.1% to 15.5%, for the 12 months.

New Zealand remains a weak spot for JB Hi-Fi, with sales dropping 0.4%, however, lifting 2.4% for The Good Guys NZ.

In today's announcements, management also provided a sales update for January and full-year FY2018 guidance. The Good Guys in particular is a concern, as the division contributed 30% to total group sales for the period.

The market is already cautious on retail companies due to the current economic climate in Australia, and any sign of weakness will likely result in selling pressure, as we've seen this morning.

The "record" results mark another milestone for JB Hi-Fi, who recently nabbed a place on Deloitte's list of the world's top 250 retailers.

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