Harvey Norman grows sales despite pressures

Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) said its sales grew 1.3 per cent in the first half even as computer sales slumped and the consumer electronics segment was hit by a 30 per cent price deflation

Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) has revealed its global sales grew 1.3 per cent in the first half to $3.31 billion.

But like-for-like sales, the proportion that are comparable to Harvey Norman's activities during 1H10, fell 3.1 per cent.

Harvey Norman's computer sales fell during the half in what the company said was a very competitive market driven by cautious consumers.

But the company said it expected this segment of its business to bounce back in the rest of FY11 due to the expected growth of tablet sales.

Consumer electronics sales were meanwhile hit by a 30 per cent price deflation in the segment.

The company said its earnings were also impacted by a deterioration in several currencies, including a 2.9 per cent depreciation of the New Zealand dollar and 16.1 per cent for the Euro.

Revenue from New Zealand and Ireland declined in constant currencies, while Australian, Slovenian and Northern Ireland sales grew.

Rival JB Hi-Fi had earlier revealed its own revenue had grown 8.3 per cent over the same period, to $1.68 billion. The upswing helped the company increase its profit 15.6 per cent to $87.9 million.

HVN shares fell 1.68 per cent during Friday's trading to $2.920.

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