Home appliance demand keeps JB Hi-Fi’s sales up despite COVID woes

Major electronics and whitegoods retailer JB Hi-Fi has unveiled a better than expected result for the first half of the new financial year, with the company’s sales and profits only falling slightly despite lockdowns, staffing problems and the devastating Omicron wave.

In an update to investors on Tuesday morning, JB Hi-Fi boss Terry Smart said the company’s first-half results were looking strong despite “challenging circumstances”. Sales across the business fell 1.6 per cent to $4.86 billion, and net profit after tax dropped 9.4 per cent to $288 million.

JB Hi-Fi Group chief executive Terry Smart says sales have stayed strong.
JB Hi-Fi Group chief executive Terry Smart says sales have stayed strong.Credit:

While this performance was not nearly as buoyant as the company’s full-year results last August, where profits soared nearly 70 per cent, it was better than some analysts had feared.

The company had warned investors in October of a sharp fall in first-quarter sales due to the effects of persistent lockdowns across Victoria and NSW following the outbreak of the Delta COVID-19 variant.

Since then, retailers have also been hurt by the Omicron wave which has seen infections skyrocket, causing staffing shortages in supply chains and other key industries and making shoppers more reluctant to leave the house.

However, JB Hi-Fi grew sales 1.2 per cent over the key Christmas period, and whitegoods seller The Good Guys reported a 2.8 per cent uptick in trade, with shoppers showing an appetite for consumer electronics and home appliances.

Online sales, a key point of growth for retailers such as JB Hi-Fi during the pandemic, continued to soar, growing 62.6 per cent to $1.1 billion for the half.

“We are pleased to report strong sales and earnings for HY22. In challenging circumstances, we have again demonstrated our ability to adapt and respond to meet the strong demand from our customers, both in-store and online,” Mr Smart said.


“I would like to thank our over 13,000 team members who have continued to do an incredible job and worked tirelessly throughout this difficult period. As the challenges associated with COVID-19 continue, the health, safety and wellbeing of our team members, customers, business partners and the wider community remain our highest priority.”

Shares in the business rose 7 per cent to $49.90 after market open, with analysts lauding the company’s performance.

Morgans analyst Alexander Mees told clients “unexpectedly resilient” margins at The Good Guys was part of the better-than-expected update, with the retailer’s earnings coming in 16 per cent above market consensus.

JB Hi-Fi will report its final audited first half result on February 14.

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Source: Thanks smh.com