JB Hi-Fi has posted a net profit after tax of $82.1 million in the first half but the company's comparable store sales declined 3.5 per cent.
It reported a total of $1.82 billion in total sales including a 3.1 per cent increases in the sales of JB Hi-Fi branded stores in Australia and New Zealand.
Its gross margin stood at about 21.5 per cent, nearly flat from last year. Its EBIT margin was also flat at 6.8 per cent.
"We are pleased with the result with total sales growing and the improved gross margin resulting in NPAT growth over the period. Whilst we continue to see total sales growth, the Visual (TV) category in particular negatively impacted comparitive store growth," JB Hi-Fi CEO, Terry Smart, said in a statement. "The industry has seen TV sales declines over the past few years as the category moves towards a more typical replacement driven sales market. The JB brand however continued to attract customers with out market share growing solidly."
He added that the company's comparitive stores are seeing an improved trend in customer satisfaction with some positive growth compared to last year. That should continue to benefit from high traffic locations, low cost of doing business, low prices and continued focus on online.
During the first half, the company opened 11 new JB Hi-Fi stores in Australia, merged four existing co-located JB Hi-Fi and Clive Anthonys stores under the new JB Hi-Fi HOME brand and closed three smaller sub-scale JB-Hi Fi stores. The company expects to open a total of 15 new JB Hi-Fi stores in FY13.
As at the 31 December 2012, the company had 176 stores, with 163 stores in Australia and 13 in New Zealand.