15 Feb 2013

Michael Hill profits up

2:23 pm on 15 February 2013

Jeweller Michael Hill International has reported a jump in profit due to higher sales.

The listed company's profit after tax rose to $27.8 million in the six months to December, nearly 6% higher than the same period a year ago.

Sales in stores open for more than a year, a key indicator, grew by 2.3% for the period, compared with a year ago, which the company says was pleasing but below expectations.

Gross earnings were up 3.4% to nearly % 40 million, which was at the top of the guidance range.

The company's sales in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States grew.

However, it says its US operations still have some way to go before the business is proven in that market.

The jeweller will pay investors a dividend of 2.5 cents per share.