Since Michael Hill’s (ASX:MHJ) last quarterly, shareholders awaited the Christmas period with bated breath after the jewellery retailer stressed its importance.

Today it revealed that it had seen some Christmas cheer and earlier than the year before.

Black Friday meant sales traditionally seen in December shifted to the previous month, but momentum again picked up in the second half of December.

Overall, Michael Hill booked $203m in sales in the December quarter — a 3 per cent gain from the previous year.

The company also reported strong online sales, up 44 per cent in the first half of this financial year.

“These results position us well for the balance of the year, there is a real air of enthusiasm across the business,” CEO Daniel Bracken said.

“The Australian retail environment was particularly difficult given prevailing low consumer confidence, the competitive environment in our industry segment together with foreign exchange and gold price headwinds.”

He also announced the business would be contributing $100,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund to help with the bushfire aid.

Shares made a modest retreat this morning but have gained 40 per cent from lows seen in July.


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In other ASX corporate news today:

Bug killer Zoonoo (ASX:ZNO) also released its quarterly and said it continued to make “good progress”. It has made $1.7m in half yearly revenues and has $3m in cash. It also reported strong online sales and reminded shareholders of its pursuits in the agricultural sector against swine fever. It started the December quarter trading at 9c and by the end had hit 63c.

Beston Global Food Company (ASX:BFC) CEO Jonathan Hicks assured shareholders this morning that the bushfires had not hit the business. He also updated shareholders on Beston’s performance, saying it had produced 183 per cent more cheese and 159 per cent more mozzarella than the previous half year. However, lactoferrin production and sales were hit by operational issues and Beston is bracing itself for higher milk prices.