14 Apr 2011

MHI reports sales rise despite tough conditions

12:45 pm on 14 April 2011

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International is reporting an increase in sales in the March quarter despite tough trading conditions and natural disasters in New Zealand and Australia.

Sales in the three months to the end of March rose 5.7% compared with the same period the previous year.

This brought total sales in the nine months to the end of March to $372 million, up 9%.

In that time, sales at stores in Australia that had been open for at least a year rose 9.5% while sales figures for New Zealand outlets were up 3.5%

Michael Hill International chief executive Mike Parsell says the figures are encouraging given the floods in Australia and the Christchurch earthquake.

But one analyst says the jewellery retailer believes those natural disasters are showing up in the company's performance, with the pace of sales growth slowing during the third quarter.