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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (984 Articles), GOLD JEWELLERY (688 Articles), RINGS - ENGAGEMENT (275 Articles)

Emma Hill will be succeeding her father, Sir Michael Hill, as chair of Michael Hill International
Emma Hill will be succeeding her father, Sir Michael Hill, as chair of Michael Hill International

New leadership for Michael Hill jewellery

The founder of Michael Hill International has announced he will step down as chairman, which is news that comes hot on the heels of the company releasing its full year results.

Sir Michael Hill, who has held the role of company chair since the jewellery retail chain was listed on the New Zealand stock exchange in 1987, said he would retire on 3 November 2015.

Hill will remain on the Michael Hill board as a non-executive director, with a company statement confirming he would be “highly engaged and active in the business” through his continuing roles as founder and majority owner.

Hill’s daughter, Emma Hill, who has been employed at the company for 30 years, will replace her father as chair. Emma established the jewellery retailer’s Canadian operation in 2002, holding the role of general manager until 2007 when she was appointed to the board of directors. She was promoted to her current position of deputy chair in 2011.

“Emma has learnt jewellery retailing from the ground up, has worked across the breadth of the business, and across our international marketplaces,” Hill commented.

“I’m thrilled that Emma has gained the full support of the board for her appointment as chair and proud to have a daughter who is incredibly passionate about the family business and has the expertise to chair the company over the next period of growth and development.”

Emma said the appointment was a privilege, adding, “Michael Hill International has a bright future. The last 30 years have been a great journey of learning, perseverance and growth. Our rich heritage married with our high quality people positions us well to move forward and achieve our ambitions.”

Flat results

At the same time that Hill announced his retirement, the company’s full year results were released for the 12 months ended 30 June 2015.

As previously reported by Jeweller, Michael Hill recorded a 3.4 per cent increase in total global revenue compared to last year.

The latest financial results showed a slight 0.2 per cent decrease in operating profit to $42.1 million.

While the company’s international markets performed well, results in Australia were not so buoyant. “The Australian market continues to be a difficult market for the group and significant focus is being placed on turning this segment around in 2015–16,” a company statement read.

The annual dividend for the period was 5 cents compared to last year’s 6.5 cents, with the statement explaining that the reduction was a “reflection of the flat earnings growth for the year together with the group’s ongoing growth ambitions”.

Details were also provided on the performance of Michael Hill’s Emma & Roe business, which officially launched in April 2014. Total revenue recorded was $22.8 million, with two stores opening in 2015, bringing the total store count to eight.

The first Michael Hill retail space opened in Whangarei, New Zealand, in 1979. There are now almost 300 stores across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

More reading
Michael Hill: Aussie sales down, overseas up
Sales surge for Michael Hill jewellery

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