Harvey Norman reports improved customer confidence and better sales

Gerry Harvey. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Retailer Harvey Norman reported improved customer confidence in Australia helping lift sales 3.2% for the half year to $3.09 billion.

Net profit after tax was up 27.4% to $141.98 million.

Chairman Gerry Harvey says the results benefit from the strength of the company’s omni-channel strategy.

“Our business has shown positive momentum for some time now, and it’s great to see improved segment performances in the half year,” he says.

“In Australia, our stores are benefiting from improved consumer confidence on the back of strong equity markets and strong growth in the housing market.

“We are seeing consistent strength in NSW, a state where property markets are particularly buoyant and home to more than 35% of our stores.”

Growth was weighted towards Homemaker categories.

Harvey Norman’s franchising operations segment reported a strong performance. Franchisee sales increased 1.8% to $1.17 billion in the September quarter and by 2.1% to $1.36 billion in the three months to December.

Gerry Harvey says the housing market is likely to remain strong, supported by record low interest rates and major infrastructure investment in NSW.

“Notwithstanding a significant change in the broader economic environment in Australia, we expect consumer sentiment to remain stable and positive trends in our business to continue,” he says.

The board recommended a fully franked interim dividend of 9 cents. Together with a fully franked special dividend in December, this brings total dividends for the half year to 23 cents.

Harvey Norman shares are up 1.8% to $4.43.

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