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Harvey Norman Buoyed By COVID-19 Despite OS Slump

Harvey Norman’s Australian franchisees have delivered growth of 7.4% in FY20 year to date (ended 31st May). This growth has been led by a stronger second half, when total sales rose by 17.5%. Overseas sales were not as good, with Singapore slipping 18% and Northern Ireland 12%.

In the first half of FY20 Harvey Norman’s total sales rose only 0.1%.

Aside from two stores in Tasmania that were closed for two weeks by government mandate, all Harvey Norman franchises have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harvey Norman also announced today that it is paying a special dividend of 6 cents per share on 29th June. In early April Harvey Norman cancelled its FY20 interim dividend of 12 cents per share, citing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of Harvey Norman’s international markets were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis – Harvey Norman’s 12 stores in Singapore have been closed since 7th April by government decree, and are expected to remain shut. The two Harvey Norman stores in North Ireland were closed from 25th March to 8th June.

While Harvey Norman’s 23 Malaysian stores were shut by government decree from 18th March to 17th April, this country market still managed to register growth of 6.4% in FY20 year-to-date. Similarly, the 13 stores in Ireland were closed due to COVID-19, but their online operations were allowed to continue. As a result, Harvey Norman in Ireland was able to grow by 13.4% over this period.

In New Zealand, where Harvey Norman has 39 retail stores, total sales grew by 0.3% in FY20 year to date, despite stores being closed from 26th March to 13th May (online trade was open for the majority of this period). Harvey Norman successfully secured NZ$12.7 million through the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme.

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