Sales might have soared for the New Zealand arm of electronic retail company JB Hi-Fi in its half-year interim results, but NZ earnings have dropped more than 25%.

Sales growth for the whole group was strong throughout the six months ended Dec 31, jumping 8.6% to A$5.3 billion (NZ$5.8b). 

This was driven by “continued elevated customer demand” for consumer electronics and home appliances, as well as “well-executed” Black Friday and Boxing Day promotional periods, the company said.

NZ sales were up 16.1% to NZ$160.6 million, while Australian sales saw a 9% increase to A$3.6b.

However, earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) for NZ plummeted 26.5% to NZ$5.4m.

Online sales for the group came to A$752.1m and represented 14.2% of total sales.

Continued sales growth combined with improved gross margins also resulted in “strong” Ebit, up 14% to A$479.2m.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange, group chief executive Terry Smart said trading conditions had started to normalise following two years of disruptions from covid-19. 

“Our relentless focus on providing the best value and high levels of customer service every day, both in-store and online, continues to resonate with our customers,” he said.

JB Hi-Fi will release audited results on Feb 13.