JB Hi-Fi hits strong sales and looks to home appliances for growth

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JB Hi-Fi, reporting a 7.5% rise to $95.2 million in profit for the first half, has its eye on home appliances as the next growth spike.

The retailer continues to stand out as a growth engine among its peers, with sales for the six months to December up 7.7% to $2.12 billion.

Competitor Dick Smith, with weak sales and left holding stock, last month went into voluntary administration and was de-listed from the ASX.

JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray says it’s unclear how recent changes to the consumer electronics industry will impact the business.

“However we will continue to focus on delivering great value to our customers and ensure that we remain the preferred destination for consumer electronics, home appliances and entertainment,” he says.

Murray says appliances are a natural addition to the company’s successful consumer electronics categories.

“Accessing the $4.6 billion appliance market, via both the introduction of small appliances to existing JB HI-FI stores and the HOME store conversions, is a significant growth opportunity for the company,” he says.

Murray says the company had strong trading in the important November and December months periods. This continued into the New Year with sales up 10.2% in January, helped by back to school technology purchases.

The company expects sales for the full year to be about $3.9 billion profit to be in the range of $143 million to $147 million.

“We continue with a strong investment program including rolling out JB HI-FI HOME, the introduction of small appliances to existing stores and upgrades to a number of our stores,m” he says. “This will position us well as we cycle a strong second half in the prior year.”

A fully franked interim dividend of 63 cents a share was declared.

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