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Michael Hill nine month sales flat on "sluggish" Australian market

Thursday 12th April 2012

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Michael Hill International Ltd., the listed jewellery chain, posted flat same store sales as New Zealand, Canada and the US markets made up for shrinking sales in Australia, its largest market.

“Third quarter sales were satisfactory in New Zealand, Canada and the US,” Michael Hill, chairman said in a statement. “The sluggishness in the Australian market has resulted in our group “same store” sales being flat for the nine months. However, the directors are pleased with the solid growth achieved in the three other markets.”

The company’s professional care plan, that offers maintenance and repairs on jewellery, recorded a 208 percent increase in sales to about $20 million for the nine months. This follows record first-half sales of $14.4 million in February.

“Cashflow continues to grow for the group due primarily to the ongoing success of the Professional Care Plan product launched in October 2010,” Hill said.

In February, the retailer’s first half profit rose to $26.3 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, up from $25.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales increased 7.3 percent to $289 million.

Shares in the company have gained 19.5 percent this year, trading at $1.02.

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