Australia's Harvey Norman says qtr same-store sales down 7.8 pct

MELBOURNE Tue Nov 6, 2012 9:45pm EST

MELBOURNE Nov 7 (Reuters) - Australian retailer Harvey Norman reported on Wednesday a drop in quarterly sales and profit as consumers remained cautious, sending the stock down more than 4 percent.

Same-store sales fell 7.8 percent in the three months to Sept. 30, Harvey Norman said in a statement. Total sales fell 10 percent.

Preliminary accounts indicated a fall in profit of 20 percent before tax and minority interests to A$50.1 million for the quarter, from A$62.8 million a year earlier.

The company said technology and entertainment sales continued to be affected by cautious consumers and price deflation, though sales of white goods, cooking, small appliances, furniture and bedding remained solid.

The stock was down 4.1 percent at A$1.775 at 0237 GMT. (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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