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Harvey Norman Sales Growth Return, If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

Harvey Norman sales have returned to growth reporting a global sales increase of 2%, with Gerry Harvey hitting back at company critics stating ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Total sales for all franchised Harvey Norman stores rose by 2% to 2.44 billion, with same-store sales up by 1.7% and 0.4% in Australian franchised stores.

With nearly 90 international and 194 Australian stores under its belt, first-quarter sales for both reached $2.44 billion at an increase of 2%.

Harvey Norman will also be looking to roll out its Premium store platform to Australian and New Zealand stores due for refitting following its successful trial overseas.

In what has been a tumultuous time for embattled Gerry Harvey having to protect his ‘controlling interest’ in Harvey Norman, stating it has always been a family business.

‘The Harvey and Norman families have always held a controlling interest since day one’ said Gerry Harvey, attacking critics of Harvey Norman’s corporate governance.

‘The suggestion independent directors are not independent because they’ve been around for ten years is absolute bullshit.’

It comes just before what is set to be an explosive annual general meeting, where Melbourne based Ownership Matters is set to advocate the appointment of Stephen Mayne over Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page.

As covered by ChannelNews, Argo Investments Chief executive Jason Beddow has compared the situation to ‘people who buy a house next door to a noisy pub and then complain about the noisy pub next door’.

In response to Ownership Matters support of Stephen Mayne, who reportedly owns only $100 worth of shares, Katie Page has called for a regime where firms’ research is vetted by companies and regulators, questioning the motives of Harvey Norman Critics.

Harvey Norman will be looking to avoid a second strike following last years 50.6% vote that resulted in shareholders voting against the remuneration report citing company governance frustrations and account management.

With the Australian Shareholders Association recommending the 15,000 Harvey Norman retail investors to vote in favour of a spill meeting, along with proxy adviser Ownership Matters, the Harvey Norman annual meeting is going to be ‘one of the dirtiest and most theatrical in recent corporate history’.

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