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Down Down Down For Harvey Norman

The electronic giant global sales fell 7.3% for the six months to 31 December 2012 to $2.88 billion.

Global like for like sales decreased 5.3%.

Harvey’s HY 2012 net profit after tax (NPAT) slumped almost 37% to $81.9 million, compared to $128.9 m for HY 2011.

Aussie sales for the six months fell 8.6%, Ireland and Northern Ireland slumped 5% and 40% respectively, while Croatia and New Zealand were up slightly.

However, Harvey’s local sales decline eased in Q2 (Oct-Dec) down 6% – compared to 11.5% fall in Q1.

However, the statement singled out Aussie’s sales rise in January of 4.1% and 5.8% like-for-like, which the retailer said was “encouraging”

Deterioration of the Euro and the UK pound was blamed for the global sales slump, which fell almost 12% to $1.33bn in Q2.

Harvey Norman’s property portfolio also took a massive hit as the company announced a net property revaluation decrement of $31.48 m –  compared to an increment of $8.07 m the prior period.

Excluding the effects of the property revaluation, NPAT would have been $113.4 m, down just 6% on last year, Harvey Norman’s statement insisted.

The revaluation was the result of development losses for three recently completed properties and one property in Oxley, Queensland which was hit by flooding.

Harvey Norman Chairman Gerry Harvey said “conditions in Australia and the global markets in which we operate remain tough.”

“The aggressive discounting experienced in the second half of 2012 has stabilized and pleasingly we are seeing an uptick in sales.”

Harvey insisted the company’s balance sheet is “robust” and pointed to “a property portfolio valued at $2.14 billion which provides strength and stability to our balance sheet.”

“The property portfolio is a critical element in the Harvey Norman integrated retail, franchising and property system, and a source of competitive advantage.”

Chairman Gerry Harvey also pointed to “interest rates at historical lows which should start moving the consumer back into the buying cycle from the savings cycle” which should boost its homemaker categories.

The Board recommends payment of a fully franked interim dividend of 4.5¢ per share on 6 May to shareholders registered at 5.00pm on 12 April.

Company shares rose 2.63% to $2.34 today.