Harvey Norman posted a 30% rise in full year net profit to $348.61 million, beating expectations of about $330 million, as a strong property market continues to underpin home and lifestyle sales.
A short time ago, Harvey Norman shares were up 5.9% to $5.55, its highest since before the GFC.
The store franchisees increased sales 7.6% to $5.33 billion, representing 54% of total profit before tax.
Billionaire Gerry Harvey, the chairman of the group, says this growth is more than double the rate in 2015.
He says Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne are also capitalising on connected devices forming a part of the Internet of Things.
“From connected fitness to home automation to intelligent mattresses, franchisees are selling the devices and technology so customers can connect their home, their work, their health and fitness and their recreation,” he says.
“The possibilities are enormous and we see it as a sustainable retail trend that franchisees intend to be at the forefront of with the best service and expertise and leading products.”
The group’s Asia business moved from a loss of $6.03 million to a profit of $11.36 million.
“Our Millenia Walk flagship store in Singapore has positioned the brand very well,” says Norman.
“Ireland is close to break-even and we expect Northern Ireland’s performance to improve this financial year with the successful opening of the Boucher Road, South Belfast superstore.”
The company declared a fully franked dividend of 17 cents a share.
The 2016 results in detail: