“Because it’s like a wonderful course, they’re learning how to talk to people and relate to people.”
Harvey Norman reported a 3.6 percent drop in net profit after taxes for 2022, reaching $811.5 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were 1.4% lower at $1.44 billion.
‘In my life, I have not seen such a labor shortage. You just need people, and we don’t have people.
While the closures hit the company’s local franchisees hard, stores have been able to adopt “pandemic-inspired construction and renovation activities,” Harvey and CEO Katie Page said in a letter to shareholders.
“Household savings remain at record levels, growing by more than $286 billion or 30 percent since the start of the pandemic, primarily skewed toward higher-income households,” they said.
“Franchisees are well placed to benefit from any reduction in accumulated household savings as they predominantly serve the mid to high end product markets and are expected to benefit from sustained investment in the household as devices and appliances require replacement and upgrading.”
Harvey said the strength of the labor market and strong consumer spending, particularly in regional areas, contrasted with warnings of a slowdown or possible recession.
“When you talk to people you think, gosh, we must be in the biggest boom Australia has seen in the last 60 years,” he said.
Figures for the first two months of the new financial year show the retailer’s Australian sales rose 10.7 percent compared to last year, with comparable sales growth of 10.3 percent.
Sales rose 5 percent overall in New Zealand, but fell 1 percent in Ireland and 10.2 percent at company stores in Northern Ireland.
“The beginning of [financial year 2023] has seen strong sales results. Low unemployment and high net deposit rates continue to underpin growth,” the company said.
Investors will receive a final fully paid dividend of 17.5¢ per share, payable on November 11. The total payment for the full year is 37.5¢, up from 35¢ in 2021.
Analysts at Jarden said the result was strong, but questioned whether it was enough to boost shares given that other retailers had posted stronger results.
“Overall it seems like a good set of numbers with most of the divisions in line [or a] touch forward,” the Jarden team said in a note to clients.
Shares of Harvey Norman fell throughout the day, opening 0.4 per cent lower and sitting down nearly 2 per cent at $4.24 just after 2:30pm AEST on Wednesday.
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