Retail giant Harvey Norman has posted a 27.4% jump in profits to $142 million for the first half of the financial year, thanks to Australia’s hot property market sending droves of customers through the retailer’s doors.
Global sales for the retailer rose by 3.2% to $3.09 billion, compared to the same period last year, while company-owned revenue jumped by 8.1% to $842 million.
Executive chainman Gerry Harvey said in a statement stores had benefited from strong growth in the housing market and improved consumer confidence on the back of strong equity markets.
“The housing market in Australia is likely to remain strong, supported by record low interest rates and major infrastructure investment in NSW,” Harvey said.
“Notwithstanding a significant change in the broader economic environment in Australia, we expect consumer sentiment to remain stable and positive trends in our business to continue.”
Harvey Norman shares were trading at $4.36 off the back of the results at the time of publication.
Billionaire’s secret daughter wins $25 million stake in estate
Olivia Mead, the secret daughter of the late mining billionaire Michael Wright, has been awarded $25 million from his estate in the Western Australian Supreme Court.
The amount was greater than the $12 million sum Mead was originally seeking, which had included a list of demands such as a $2.5 million home, a $250,000 diamond studded bass guitar, $10,000 a year to spend on accessories and shoes and an axolotl (Mexican walking fish).
Master Craig William Sanderson found Wright had not made “adequate provisions” for his daughter before his death in 2012, when he had passed away with an estimated wealth of $1.5 billion.
The university student will receive the money with 60 days, while the remainder of Wright’s estate will be passed on to his other daughters.
“They will get about $10 million each less perhaps $1 million for costs,” said Saunders.
“That is on top of the $400 million they already have; and they can rest easy in the knowledge their half-sister will be financially secure for the rest of her life.”
Shares down on open
Aussie shares have opened weaker this morning off the back of mixed conditions from overseas markets.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a statement the end of this week’s trade will depend on the company results that round out the reporting season.
“The broad macro lead from international markets was largely neutral for our market this morning,” he said.
“Woolworths is likely to be under pressure this morning. Investors will be nervous about news of subdued sales in December and January and management’s downward revision in full year guidance following plans to compete more aggressively on price.”
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 0.8 points to 5909.3 at 11.55am AEDT. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed 10.15 points lower, down 0.06% to 18,214.42 points.