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Harvey Norman spruiks Malaysia opportunity

Harvey Norman has announced solid first quarter sales growth in Australia and even better numbers in Malaysia, where it is planning a big expansion.

Sales revenue for Harvey Norman's Australian retail franchise outlets rose by almost nine per cent for the three months to October 31, while Malaysian sales were up 38.4 per cent, compared to the same period a year ago.

The electronics and furniture retailer on Monday opened its 28th store in Malaysia, where it has had a presence since 2003, and sees a "significant opportunity" to grow that number to 80 by the end of 2028.

"We have an amazing team there and it doesn't matter whether it's manpower, infrastructure, property, retail, IT - we are absolutely ready for this," chief executive Katie Page told shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday.

"When you look through who our competitors are, we are taking market share, we're doing very well," she said.

The chain's premium fit-out is of such quality that landlords are seeking out Harvey Norman to be a key tenant in their malls, Ms Page said.

"It's taken us some time to get to this point," she said. "But that's really important as well, when you're trying to get into the best sites."

She called Harvey Norman's Malaysian expansion a key piece of the company's Southeast Asia expansion plan, although Singapore will remain its head office.

Meanwhile, the group's independent Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne branded stores posted a gain of 8.8 per cent for the quarter.

The group also reported total sales revenue for its wholly-owned stores in New Zealand, Slovenia, Croatia and Ireland, as well as the Australian franchises, increased by 6.3 per cent in Australian dollar terms.

All resolutions passed at Harvey Norman's annual general meeting in Sydney, although slightly over 20 per cent of shares were voted against the re-election of two longstanding directors, Kenneth Gunderson-Briggs and David Ackery.