Harvey Norman s profit plunges 20pc
Harvey Norman's profit plunges 20pc

UPDATE 1.40pm: Shares in Harvey Norman sunk after the retailer reported a 20 per cent fall in first quarter profit because of falling sales.

The company said its unaudited profit before tax and minority interests in the three months to September 30 was $50.1 million, down from $62.8 million in the previous corresponding period.

"Technology and entertainment sales continue to be affected by the cautious consumer and continued price deflation," Harvey Norman said in a statement.

In the three months to September, the company's global sales of $1.33 billion, were down 10 per cent from the same period in the previous year.

Like-for-like global sales in the three months to September were down 7.8 per cent from the same period in the previous year.

In Australia, Harvey Norman's total sales for the three months to September were down 11.5 per cent from the previous corresponding period, the largest fall in any of the company's markets.

Like-for-like first quarter sales in Australia were down 8.7 per cent from the same period in the previous year.

After taking out the impact of the closure of Clive Peeters and Rick Hart stores, total Australian sales were down 5.4 per cent from the previous corresponding period, Harvey Norman said.

The company's total sales in New Zealand dropped 1.3 per cent from the previous first quarter, gained 26.3 per cent in Slovenia and Croatia, and fell by 2.9 per cent in Ireland.

Harvey Norman shares closed down four cents, or 2.16 per cent, at $1.81 after falling as low as $1.76 in earlier trade.

The West Australian

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