JB Hi-Fi's first-half profit surges 21 per cent to $151.7 million

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JB Hi-Fi has brushed off the pre-Christmas arrival of Amazon in Australia to post a 21 per cent jump in profit for the first half of the financial year, but disappointed investors with a lower than expected outlook for the rest of the year.

Sales in New Zealand were down 0.4 per cent to $123.6 million and its earnings before interest and tax were zero, compared to $1m past year, although that was largely weighed down by $5m in lost sales and one-off closure costs.

The company lifted its interim dividend 14 cents to 86 cents, fully franked.

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JB Hi-Fi's Solutions business nabbed "double digit" sales growth, which the retailer states is on track to hit a long-term aspirational sales target of about $500 million per annum.

Not a great result for New Zealand, however, management will be putting most of its energies into the Australian business and integration of The Good Guys. This is compared to a result of $263 million in HY17.

"It was another strong result for the JB HI-FI business in Australia, particularly through the important November and December periods", said the JB HI-Fi chief executive Richard Murray.

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JB Hi-Fi expects group profit to be between $235 million and $240 million, an increase of 13.1% to 15.5%, for the 12 months. "One JB Hi-Fi store was closed and we have exited whitegoods and rebranded the four stores to JB Hi-Fi" from JB Hi-Fi Home.

"We are pleased with the progress we have made at The Good Guys and are confident about the future opportunities for the Group". This comprises $4.75 billion from JB Hi-Fi and $2.1 billion from The Good Guys. JB Hi-Fi came in at No. 218, and is only the third Australian retailer to boast a place.

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