August 12, 2018 / 11:36 PM / 5 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi beats profit estimates

(Adds dividend and outlook)

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi Ltd on Monday said annual underlying profit rose 12.3 percent, beating expectations, as it took into account a full year’s contribution from its home appliances business

Net profit, excluding significant items, for the year ended June 2018 was A$233.2 million ($170 million), compared with an average expectation of A$230.41 million, according to 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company reported an underlying net profit of A$207.7 million last year.

Full-year gross profit for its home appliances business The Good Guys came in at A$426.1 mln, a 59.2 percent jump, despite a fall in its gross margin reflecting strong online competition and weak consumer sentiment in Australia.

The company had cut its full-year net profit after tax forecast in May to A$230 million from A$235 million to 240 million, citing lacklustre performance by Good Guys.

JB Hi-Fi and larger players like Harvey Norman have been taking a hit after e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc’s launch in Australia in December.

Weak wage growth and high levels of household debt have affected Australian shopppers, though wallets eased open a tad last quarter, the best for retail spending in a year.

JB Hi-Fi reported a 21.8 percent rise in total sales to A$6.85 billion, compared with A$5.63 billion a year ago.

For the 2019 financial year JB expects sales of about A$7.1 billion, it said.

JB Hi-Fi declared a final dividend of 46 Australian cents per share, same as last year.

$1 = 1.3717 Australian dollars Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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