JB Hi-Fi has beaten the retail crunch again to post record sales

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Sales of smartphones, games, drones and computers helped consumer electronics chain JB Hi-Fi to record revenue in the first half, up 41% to $3.69 billion, putting it ahead of its own estimates.

Statutory profit after tax was up 37.4% to $151.7 million.

CEO Richard Murray says it was a strong result for the JB HI-FI business in Australia, particularly through the important November and December periods.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made at The Good Guys and are confident about the future opportunities,” he says.

Key growth categories were the communications, computers, audio, drones and games hardware.

Online sales grew 40.6% to $119.3 million or 4.8% of total sales.

Other bricks and mortar retailers, hit by increasing digital competition and subdued consumer sentiment, have reported weak trading for Christmas and New Year.

However, JB HI-FI stores had sales growth of 6.9% in January with comparable sales up 4.5%. Sales for The Good Guys — the whitegoods retailer JB HI-FI acquired for $870 million in November, 2016 — was down 3.5% with comparable sales growth of -4.7%.

The company today declared a dividend of 86 cents, up 19.4%.

Seven new JB HI-FI stores were opened in Australia and one JB HI-FI store was closed in New Zealand during the half year to December. Two new The Good Guys stores were opened. The company now has 311 stores in Australia and New Zealand.

For the full year, the company expects total sales to be about $6.85 billion, with $4.75 billion from JB HI-FI and $2.1 billion from The Good Guys.

Group profit will be between $235 million and $240 million, an increase of 13.1% to 15.5%.

The 2018 half year to December half year results:

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