Canada helps boost Michael Hill result

Michael Hill

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Jewellery company Michael Hill International, in takeover play from its Hill family founders, has revealed a $1.6 million leap in half-year profits this morning, boosted by more positive sales in its Candadian stores.

The international jewellery chain made a net profit of $23.9 million for the six months to 
December 31, up $1.6 million or 7.2% on the same time last year.

Sales rose almost 10% to $269.1 million during the period in which five new stores were opened.

A 23.5% sales lift in its Canadian stores, to C$20.07 million, helped boost the result.

Revenue from the jeweller’s Australian stores rose 6.1% to A$140.9 million and New Zealand sales rose 7.1% to $56.1 million.

Directors said the general retail climate in all markets was cautious and recent, adverse 
weather-related events in Australia would make the third quarter difficult across the Tasman.

Despite this, the company has forecast full year, pre-tax earnings of $45m, up $8.8 million from last year.

The jeweler will pay an fully tax-paid interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share.

Earlier this week, Durante Holdings, a company associated with the Hill family, said it has 78 percent of the shares it needs to make its partial takeover offer of Michael Hill International Ltd unconditional.

Durante Holdings owned 47.63 percent of the company before the offer and wanted to move to 50.2 percent. The offer is 90 cents a share.

An independent report said there was no compelling reason to accept the offer but founder Sir Michael Hill said Durante remained confident the offer would succeed.

The offer closes on February 28.

Michael Hill International was founded in 1979 by Sir Michael and his wife Christine. The business expanded from one jewellery store in Whangarei and it now employs more than 2000 people.

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