Harvey Norman lifts H1 profit

Retailer says property portfolio will continue to underpin its performance.

Harvey Norman (HVN) says its property portfolio will continue to underpin its performance in the years ahead, after posting a strong lift in first-half profit.

In the six months to December 31, the retailer posted a net profit of $111.42 million, a 36% increase on the $81.92m recorded in the first half of the previous year.

Excluding the effects of a net property revaluation decrement of $8.61m (compared to $44.97m in the previous period) net profit after tax for the half year was $117.45m, an increase of 3.6% on the previous period.

In the same period, revenue was $2.48 billion, a slight 1.4% lift on the $2.44bn posted in the previous corresponding period.

Global sales for the half year increased to $2.99 billion, a 3.6% increase from the previous corresponding period and a 4.9% increase on a like-for-like basis.

The group will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 6c on May 5 to shareholders on the register at April 11.

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey said the group's property portfolio continues to underpin the business through the strength and stability it provides.

"We have more than doubled our net asset base in the last nine years and our property assets have provided a solid foundation to our integrated retail, franchising and property system for more than three decades," he said.

"To my mind, our ownership of real property is an absolute competitive strength when compared with the intangibles and goodwill that figure prominently on the balance sheets of many of our competitors."