Harvey Norman Ireland CEO, Blaine Callard has hosted about 160 of its senior staff, in a celebration of a return to profitability for the company. According to The IrishTimes, he bought out a balthazar of champagne – (around 12l) which sat in a glass case in Harvey Norman’s north Dublin head office. The sign next to it read: “Break glass in case of profit. To be opened after one quarter of consolidated net profit.”
Harvey’s Irish operation returned to profitability in the three months to the end of last December. In its full year results released last month on the ASX, Harvey said it boosted sales in the Irish Republic in the second half of 2014 by more than 7%, and by more than 19% in Northern Ireland.
Ireland, once considered the beachhead for Harvey’s expansion into the UK, had racked up losses of more than €110 million since its entry during the boom. Callard, who started with the company in Australia in 1995, became managing director Europe in 2006 before taking over in Ireland more than five years ago.
As part of this revitalised growth in the Irish market, Appliance Retailer reported in July that Harvey has relocated its Newtownabbey site to the former Fultons’ store at Balmoral Plaza off Boucher Road in south Belfast.
The company is making the 61,000ft two-level outlet its flagship base in Northern Ireland. As well as a refit, the new showroom is employing at least 15 new staff.
This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer.