Weaker Australian dollar helps result

Global jeweller Michael Hill International has achieved a more than 10% boost to revenue across all stores, assisted by a weakening of the Australian dollar against its counterparts in New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

The company's jewellery ''professional care plans'' continue to make a substantial contribution, with revenue up 22.6% for the nine months to March at $24.4 million, and the actual revenue released into income up 99.4%, at $A13.1 million ($NZ14.1 million).

From a year high of $1.60 in early November, Michael Hill shares continued to trade around $1.34, following yesterday's announcement.

Total revenues from all stores was up 10.5%, from $A336.8 million to $A372 million, with all Canadian and Australian stores' revenues up respectively 30.6% and 5.4%.

The United States and New Zealand all-stores revenues were down, respectively 7% and 2.6%, New Zealand declining from $NZ86.6 million to $NZ84.3 million.

''This result was helped by the weakening of the Australian dollar against the other three currencies,'' the now Brisbane-based company said.

Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said while the all-store result from Canada was ''exceptional'', the company would have been disappointed with the New Zealand result, 2.6% down, given the positive indicators in the economy.

''They will be expecting improvements in the US and New Zealand,'' he said.

Michael Hill relocated to Australia in 2008, transferring its intellectual property to an Australian subsidiary in a transaction which put its head office in its largest market and generated tax breaks, BusinessDesk reported.

Earlier this month, Michael Hill announced an $A6 million settlement with the Australian Tax Office, which had disputed the valuation of the intellectual property.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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