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Michael Hill International Limited Analysis

Overview

The Michael Hill story began in 1979 when Sir Michael and his wife Christine opened their first store in the New Zealand town of Whangarei, some 160 kilometres north of Auckland. Since then, the company growth has been guided by a unique retail jewellery formula. Through dramatically different store designs, a product range devoted exclusively to jewellery and development of high impact advertising, Michael Hill Jewellers rose to national prominence. In 1987 Michael Hill International was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the same year the Group expanded into Australia.

In 2002, Michael Hill expanded into North America, opening its first stores in Vancouver, Canada. The Canadian presence now includes stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The first Michael Hill stores opened in the United States in September 2008. There are now stores in Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota and New York.

Exclusive jewellery collections available at Michael Hill stores include Michael Hill Designer Bridal, Infinitas, Everlight and Spirits Bay (New Zealand only).

As at June 2016, there are 168 stores across Australia, 52 in New Zealand, 67 in Canada and 10 in the United States. There are also four Michael Hill online stores servicing each market.

In June 2016, Michael Hill under took a Scheme of Arrangement with a plan to become a dual-listed company. Michael Hill relisted on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and listed as a primary listing on the Australian stock exchange effective 7 July 2016.

Performance

The following information was extracted from Michael Hill International Limited's Half Year results, released on 26 February 2024:

Key Financial Results

  • Comparable earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $31.3m, in line with previous guidance.
  • Group revenue was up 4% on a 26-week basis (including Bevilles) at $362.7m, and flat on a statutory basis (FY23H1: 27 weeks). The sales trend for the core Michael Hill brand improved through the half, however was still negative to the record first half of FY23.
  • Group gross margin was under pressure at 61.5% in line with previous guidance, due to higher input costs for gold and diamonds and increased promotional activity in response to more aggressive retail trading conditions.
  • Inventory levels are in line with management’s expectations at $219.8m, with the increase attributable to the Bevilles acquisition.
  • Closing net debt position of $11.6m, having deployed cash to support ongoing investment in the core business and the Bevilles acquisition.
  • Interim dividend of AU1.75 cents per share declared.

Operational Performance

  • During the last 12 months, a major review of our product offering was undertaken, with product newness being released into stores across the final quarter delivering early positive results.
  • Digital sales have continued to return to growth delivering $29.6m and representing 8.2% of total Group sales for the half, supported by positive contributions from new digital channels.
  • New high-end bespoke brand TenSevenSeven was soft launched digitally prior to Christmas.
  • Medley delivered 22% sales growth in the half, and successfully trialled its first ever pop-up kiosk in Chadstone.
  • The recently acquired Bevilles brand expanded into Qld with two new stores, and two further stores were added to the portfolio in NSW, taking the network to 30. Additionally, four new sites have been secured for opening in the second half.

Current Trading Update

  • For the first seven weeks of FY24H2, Group sales (including Bevilles) are up 9.5% on prior year, with the Michael Hill Australia retail business driving the improvement in performance.

Disclaimer: This section is provided as general information only. It is not intended as a substitute for legal or professional advice to company directors and officers or investors. NZX Limited disclaims any liability arising from the use of this information.