Furniture retailer Nick Scali defied the retail crunch but its shares still slumped

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Shares in Nick Scali fell today despite a 15% lift in profit to $23.5 million over the first half of 2018, driven by improved sales from an expanding network of furniture stores.

A short time ago, the shares were down 1.2% to $6.89.

The profit growth was driven by an 8.1% increase in sales revenue to $128 million. Same store sales growth was 2.6%.

“The six new stores opened in first half FY18 have performed above our expectations,” says Managing Director, Anthony Scali.

“Three of the new stores are located in the Home-Co centres previously occupied by Masters and these centres are generating excellent traffic. We expect to open a number of new stores in other Home-Co centres.”

Most retailers have been reporting quiet Christmas and New Year sales.

The company declared a fully franked dividend of 16 cents a share, up from 14 cents.

Nick Scali says recent trading has been volatile with December positive for sales growth but January negative.

“The current expectation is for net profit after tax for the full year to June 2018 to be 5% to 10% higher,” says the company.

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