Noni B, Fantastic, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi report

Fashion retailer Noni B says retail market conditions remain challenging, particularly in New South Wales. The company is cautious about the year ahead, following flat sales since July.

Noni B reported its sixth successive increase in full-year profit to $8.2 million, only slightly up on the previous year. Sales rose 7% to $123.8 million.

By contrast, Furniture retailer Fantastic Holdings posted good sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, and expects strong first half sales, but warns rising home ownership and the federal election could dampen consumer sentiment.

Fantastic Holdings reported annual profit of $25 million and retail sales of $302 million at its network of stores, both up 16% from 2006.

And a strong result from Harvey Norman. It announced global sales figures for the three months to 30 September of $1.39 billion, up 11.6%. It expects to grow net profit from continuing operations by up to 35% in the first half of 2007-08.

Confidence is also up at JB Hi-Fi, with the music and entertainment vendor yesterday reporting a strong profit of $40.4 million. CEO Richard Uechritz said the company is on track to achieve the forecast sales figure of $1.7 billion, a 33% increase in sales.

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