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Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ) - CEO, Daniel Bracken
CEO, Daniel Bracken
Sourced: The Canberra Times
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  • Jewellery Group, Michael Hill (MHJ) has suffered an 11.9 per cent drop in its third-quarter revenue across all stores
  • Michael Hill was the first listed Australian retailer to close its doors in response to COVID-19
  • Stores reported over $105 million in revenue, which is a rough $15 million decrease from the same corresponding period
  • Before the virus hit, the jeweller was looking strong, with sales up nearly 2 per cent
  • However, CEO Daniel Bracken is looking at the positives, claiming “a crisis always creates opportunities”
  • After seeing a 50 per cent increase in online sales, Michael Hill will focus on its digital business
  • Michael Hill is down 5.56 per cent on the market and selling shares for 34 cents each

Jewellery group Michael Hill (MHJ) has suffered an 11.9 per cent drop in its third FY20 quarter revenue across all stores after COVID-19 induced closures.

Its stores reported $105.06 million in revenue for the March quarter, which is down from $119.3 million this time last year.

The company showed the first glimpse of what the coronavirus impact has had on retail shops by reporting a 10.4 per cent drop in comparable sales at 162 Australian stores.

However, it was Michael Hill’s Canadian business that has so far taken the biggest hit with same-store sales dropping 21.1 per cent to $CAD20.6 million ($23.07 million).

The jewellers were looking strong at the end of February, with sales up 1.8 per cent, however this took a 180-degree turn in March when COVID-19 hit.

Michael Hill was the first listed Australian retailer to close its doors in response to the virus, and other retailers quickly followed.

A silver lining is online sales have jumped by nearly 50 per cent, and the company is hoping this can offset some of the impacts from the virus.

CEO Daniel Bracken is looking at the positives and says “a crisis always creates opportunities”.

“The crisis has afforded us the ability to really focus on our digital business and we will emerge with a much bigger and stronger offering,” he said.

“The combination of strong performance leading into the crisis and the decisive actions we are taking to preserve cash and strengthen our balance sheet will leave us well-positioned to lead the market through the recovery period and we will emerge as a stronger, leaner, and more agile business,” he added.

Underpaid former Australian employees will have to wait a little longer as it postpones these payments to help the business through the crisis. But, it will be adding interest to those payments.

Due to the retail industry award rate, the jeweller owed between $10 million and $25 million to current and former staff.

Michael Hill is down 5.56 per cent on the market and selling shares for 34 cents each at 1:25 pm AEST.

MHJ by the numbers
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