Harvey Norman’s global sales in the second quarter deteriorated to a mere 0.2 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Despite this, global total sales for the six months to 31 December 2010 were $3.31 billion, which was a 1.3 per cent increase compared to global sales for the period 1 July 2009 to 31 December 2009.

According to chief financial officer Chris Mentis, the global sales were negatively affected by 2.9 per cent deterioration in the New Zealand dollar, a 16.1 per cent deterioration in the Euro and a 11.8 per cent deterioration in the UK Pound.

Aside from its Northern Ireland and Slovenian businesses, Harvey Norman’s Australian franchisees saw first half year sales grow 3 per cent. But like-for-like sales in Australia for the same period were down 2 per cent.

The Australian franchisee sales data indicated that the Harvey Norman electrical franchisees continue to strengthen the business in an “extremely difficult environment”, particularly the television market share.

Similarly, the company said its furniture and bedding franchisees continued to grow revenue and market share despite the industry experiencing a slow down with the dampened housing market.

Meanwhile a “cautious consumer” environment influenced computer franchisee sales.

“This has also led to an increase in the price deflation in the key laptop computer category during the period. Positive contributions from the digital SLR camera, smart phone and gaming console categories, combined with the expected growth in the tablet computer categories, have the franchisee well positioned to maximise the technology product opportunities throughout 2011,” Mentis said in a statement.