February 10, 2019 / 10:55 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's JB Hi-Fi posts a 5.5 pct rise in HY profit

(Adds details from report, full-year guidance)

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi Ltd on Monday reported a 5.5 percent rise in half-yearly profit, supported by strong contributions from its Australia and New Zealand divisions.

Australian retail sales jumped to the highest in five months in November bolstered by pre-Christmas shopping, before waning towards the end of the year.

JB Hi-Fi's Australian division reported a 4.7 percent rise in half-yearly revenue to A$2.59 billion ($1.84 billion), while its New Zealand segment climbed nearly 6 percent to NZ$131.8 million ($88.91 million).

Sales from its home appliances business The Good Guys came in at A$1.13 billion, versus A$1.10 billion a year ago.

That collectively bumped up the company's total sales to A$3.84 billion in the period, up 4.2 percent.

Net profit attributable for the six months ended Dec. 31 was A$160.1 million, up from the prior year's A$151.7 million.

JB Hi-Fi also reaffirmed its full-year 2019 sales guidance of circa A$7.1 billion, but said it expected its New Zealand division to log higher sales than previously anticipated, while its Australian business is forecast slightly lower.

The company recommended an interim dividend of 91 Australian cents per share, compared with 86 Australian cents per share a year ago. ($1 = 1.4824 New Zealand dollars) ($1 = 1.4102 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Nikhil Subba and Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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