A JB Hi-Fi store in Brisbane. Picture: AAP
A JB Hi-Fi store in Brisbane. Picture: AAP

JB Hi-Fi rides boom to post record sales, profits

JB Hi-Fi is riding a wave of demand from consumers through the COVID-19 pandemic, with bored and cashed-up shoppers grabbing mobile phones, TVs, computers, fridges and kitchen appliances to generate record sales and earnings for the retailer.

The shopping boom, fuelled by a mix of wages subsidies, early access to superannuation and the shutdown of overseas travel, is filling the coffers of JB Hi-Fi and its stablemate The Good Guys. But it's also pouring into shareholders' pockets, with a near doubling of the interim dividend.

And the robust sales momentum has pushed into January, although given the uncertainty around COVID-19, JB Hi-Fi has stepped back from providing sales and earnings guidance for the full year.

JB Hi-Fi's half-year results announcement confirmed the bumper trading update issued in January, which revealed the retailer was experiencing unprecedented sales and profitability amid the pandemic.

The consumer electronics chain said on Monday that sales were up 23.7 per cent to $4.9 billion, as half-year net profit rose 86.2 per cent to $317.7 million. The results were in line with guidance provided in January.

The company said online sales were up 161.7 per cent to $678.8m, reflecting the huge boom in online shopping through the pandemic.

Investors will share in the profit surge, with JB Hi-Fi announcing the interim dividend would be lifted 81.8 per cent to $1.80 per share and payable on March 12.

JB Hi-Fi is the latest company to sharply lift its dividend following a record half-year performance, with furniture chain Nick Scali also recently ramping up its payout, setting the scene for other retailers to lift dividends.

The company said JB Hi-Fi Australia total sales grew by 23.3 per cent to $3.36bn with comparable sales up 24.2 per cent. Sales momentum was strong through the half, with continued elevated customer demand for consumer electronics and home appliance products. The key growth categories were communications, computers, visual, games hardware and small appliances. Online sales grew 201.9 per cent to $515.6m or 15.4 per cent of total sales. In New Zealand, total sales were up 9.1 per cent to $NZ$144.9m ($A134.8m), with comparable sales up 9.1 per cent. Online sales in New Zealand grew 69.2 per cent to $NZ$16.3 million, or 11.3 per cent of total sales.

 

‘An extraordinary period”. JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray. Picture: AAP
‘An extraordinary period”. JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray. Picture: AAP

At The Good Guys chain, total sales grew by 26.4 per cent to $1.45bn, with comparable sales up 26.4 per cent. Sales momentum was strong with continued elevated customer demand for home appliance and consumer electronics products. The key growth categories were refrigeration, portable appliances, laundry, floorcare, televisions and computers.

"We are pleased to report record sales and earnings for the second half of 2021, in what has been an extraordinary period," said chief executive Richard Murray.

"Our continued focus on the customer, and investments in our online business and our supply chain, have enabled us to seamlessly meet our customers' increased demand both in-store and online."

Turning to the second half, the company said that in January total sales growth for JB Hi-Fi Australia was 17.3 per cent, with comparable sales growth of 18.6 per cent. Total sales growth for JB Hi-Fi New Zealand was 21.7 per cent with comparable sales growth of 21.7 per cent and total sales growth for The Good Guys was 14.1 per cent with comparable sales growth of 14.1 per cent.


Originally published as JB Hi-Fi rides boom to post record sales, profits


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