Jewellery chain Michael Hill saw shares fall 10% yesterday, after revealing a decline in Australian sales.

Same store sales sunk 3.4% in the three months to March 31 and are now 7.4% lower for the first nine months of the fiscal year.

However, CEO Daniel Bracken said the decline across total operations including Canada and New Zealand was just 1.5% for the quarter.

This marked an improvement on falls of 11% and 2.9% in the previous two quarters.

"The company's performance continued to stabilise during the quarter, as refinements to the strategy improved our position from the first half, further regaining ground lost in the first quarter," he said.

Gross profit margin for the first nine months of FY19 was 62.1%, compared to 62.7% at the same point last year.

Online sales of $12.5 million in the nine months to March 2019 were up 53% and now represents 2.9% of total sales.

Bracken said early results from a new integrated customer-led retail operating model were promising.

Introduced in March, it has lifted customer engagement, sales as well as operational efficiencies, he said. 

The brand currently operates 307 stores.

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