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Australia sparkles for Michael Hill

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 18th August 2000

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Jeweller Michael Hill has announced a strong tax paid profit for the second year in a row despite a difficult trading year in New Zealand.

Its full year tax paid profit to the end of June is $9.939 million, a 13.3% increase on the 1999 result, which in turn was 22% higher than the previous period.

The company's turnover for the year to June of $181.98 million compares with $156.94 million in 1999.

Slower than expected sales in New Zealand in November are being blamed on nervousness in the market leading up to the general election, and January sales were also disappointing. Overall same store sales increased slightly in the year by 1.5%.

In Australia same store rose by 5.4%, with revenue rising 18.5% compared with last year. However that figure is in New Zealand dollars, which this year was calculated on an exchange rate of $0.80 compared with $0.84 in 1999.

Michael Hill now has 66 stores trading in Australia with plans to open a further six in the coming financial year. The company says this will include the first super ttore in Australia, at Dandenong in Melbourne.

The company is paying a final dividend of 7.5 cents. Michael Hill shares rose 10 cents on Friday to close at $3.20.

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