12 Apr 2012

Michael Hill sales down in Australia

8:03 pm on 12 April 2012

New Zealand-based jewellery company Michael Hill International (MHI) says it plans to open up to 20 new stores worldwide this year, despite falling revenues from its 150 Australian shops.

Sales rose nearly 8% in New Zealand for the nine months ending 31 March, but earnings from its 150 stores in Australia fell 2.7%, due to tight retail conditions.

Overall same-store sales for the period were flat at $364 million, and sales lifted 15% in Canada and by 11% in the United States.

MHI chief executive Mike Parsell, says the Australian market remains a challenge: "It's still quite a difficult market at the moment.

"We're still looking at ways in which we can increase impulse purchasing," he says.