Dick Smith Electronics owner Woolworths has started its new financial year with a drop in local consumer electronics (CE) sales.
CE sales in New Zealand for the first quarter of the 2011 financial year, ending October, fell 2.3 percent year on year to $84 million.
The company says the CE market locally continues to face macroeconomic challenges, adding comparable store sales fell 4.2 percent here for the quarter.
The electronics sales results for this country contrast with those recorded for Australia, where sales increased nearly one percent year on year, and for the trans-Tasman operations, where sales grew 0.3 percent. Seventeen Dick Smith stores were opened across Australia and New Zealand during the period, with three refurbished.
Woolworths chief executive Michael Luscombe said his company had made a solid start to the year, but said tight consumer spending was an underlying challenge for the retail sector.
Overall, Woolworths achieved a 4.2 percent boost in sales to reach A$13.9 billion.