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Michael Hill acquires 17 new stores

Wednesday 3rd September 2008

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Michael Hill International, the jewellery store chain, completed the US$5.5 million acquisition of 17 stores in Illinois and Missouri.

The retailer bought the outlets from Whitehall Jewellers Holdings, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The new stores aren't expected to be profitable for several years. The purchase was funded from existing bank facilities and cash.

Shares of Michael Hill were unchanged at 83 cents and have dropped 30% this year.

The retailer last month reported annual profit rose 20% to NZ$25.2 million after it opened new stores and trimmed sales costs. It opened 21 stores in the latest 12 months, bringing its total to 210 across Australia, New Zealand and Canada, excluding Whitehall.

By Jonathan Underhill

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