16 Dec 2008

Michael Hill sales rise

2:03 pm on 16 December 2008

Sales at Michael Hill International have risen, as increases overseas offset a sharp fall in spending at its jewellery stores in New Zealand.

Michael Hill said full-year profit will benefit to the tune of $57 million as it moves its intellectual property from New Zealand to Australia.

Overall sales rose nearly 8% in the past five months, driven by Australia, where it makes the bulk of revenue.

However sales at stores open at least a year fell more than 9% in New Zealand, and 5% in Canada.

Overall same-store sales growth had been fairly flat, growing just 0.3%.

Michael Hill has not issued a full year profit forecast because it said trading over Christmas will have a major impact on the result.

The jewellery retailer announced plans to sell the intellectual property for its retail operation to its Australian subsidiary for $293 million.

It said this will boost full-year profit by about $57 million in this financial year and by $7.4 million a year for the next four years.