12 Oct 2009

Jewellery sales up for Michael Hill

2:33 pm on 12 October 2009

jewellery retailer Michael Hill International has seen a rise in quarterly sales.

The company made $84.6 million in the three months to September, an increase of 6% on the previous year.

Australia, which comprises two-thirds of sales, continues to sparkle for Michael Hill.

Total sales there rose 6% to over $A44.5 million, while sales at stores open at least a year rose more than 2%.

The company says sales in New Zealand picked up in August and September following a weak June, with same store sales rising slightly.

Michael Hill says margins fell in both countries as it lowered prices to attract shoppers.

Downturn continues in North America

Michael Hill stores in North America continue to struggle with the downturn affecting consumer confidence in Canada and the United States.

Same store sales in Canada fell 7% and Michael Hill does not expect that to improve in the lead up to Christmas.

The company is revamping its US stores. While sales there are rising, Michael Hill warned profitability is still some way off as unemployment continues to rise.