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Australian sales lifted in the last nine months after the company recorded a loss the previous year
Australian sales lifted in the last nine months after the company recorded a loss the previous year

Michael Hill sales lift across all markets

Michael Hill International’s latest trading update shows improvement across all markets, including the “difficult” Australian region.

For the nine months ended 31 March 2016, Michael Hill International (MHI) recorded AU$420.8 million in global revenue, 9.1 per cent up on the previous corresponding period. Sales from the Michael Hill business accounted for AU$414 million of this figure, with the remaining AU$6.8 million from Emma & Roe sales.

Michael Hill was said to have had a “solid third quarter of trade” in Australia, which contributed to the region’s 4.3 per cent revenue increase to AU$238.7 million for the nine-month period. Australian same-store sales for Michael Hill also rose 3.5 per cent to AU$234.1 million.

The results could be seen as a considerable improvement in a market that former MHI chairman Sir Michael Hill often described as being “difficult”. By comparison, in the previous corresponding period (the nine months ended 31 March 2015), Michael Hill experienced a 1 per cent loss in revenue as well as a 2.1 per cent fall in same-store sales in Australia.

Commenting on this, MHI CEO Mike Parsell told Jeweller, “From an economic point of view, the Australian retail market hasn’t changed that much and it continues to be challenging. However, over the past year, Michael Hill has increased its focus on the execution of its internal strategies, such as providing a better customer and in-store experience and adjusting our marketing.”

Strength overseas
Mike Parsell, Michael Hill International CEO
Mike Parsell, Michael Hill International CEO

Parsell pointed out that MHI was not only experiencing success in Australia but also across international markets.

Michael Hill traded particularly well in the US, achieving a 28.5 per cent revenue increase to US$10.5 million (AU$13.7 m) and a 2.9 per cent lift in same-store sales to US$8 million (AU$10.4 million) for the nine-month period.

Parsell said he believed the execution of Michael Hill’s retail systems and improved merchandising had been the main drivers behind the double-digit US sales increase.

“Our business is still in trial mode there, and it’s a very competitive market, but we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about our brand, product ranges and service, so I think we provide a good alternative jewellery choice to US consumers,” he commented.

In New Zealand, Michael Hill reported a 6.5 per cent rise in total sales to NZ$93.7 million (AU$84.5 m). Coincidentally, the region recorded the same percentage increase and approximate dollar value for same-store sales.

Michael Hill recorded a double-digit sales increase in Canada, with total revenue amounting to CA$72.4 million (AU$72.9 m), 19.5 per cent up on the previous year. Canadian same-store sales rose 5.8 per cent to CA$60.1 million (AU$60.5 m).

MHI’s relatively new Emma & Roe business also continued to expand, recording AU$6.2 million in revenue in Australia and NZ$545,694 (AU$492,061) in New Zealand. This represented sales increases of 82.9 per cent and 165.4 per cent, respectively.

More reading
Australian jewellery sales down for Michael Hill
Michael Hill, Pandora increase sales in 2015
Sales increase for Pandora, Michael Hill
Aussie market picks up for Michael Hill jewellery
New leadership for Michael Hill jewellery

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