Australia markets open in 3 hours 55 minutes

Nick Scali sales recover, shares soar

Many businesses closed during the pandemic but retailers say they've seen things rebound recently

Nick Scali shares have soared more than 20 per cent after the furniture retailer said it would bring forward a dividend it deferred at the height of the pandemic.

Nick Scali decided on March 23 to defer the interim dividend until October, but now says it will make the 25-cent-per-share payout on June 29.

At 1101 AEST, Nick Scali shares were up 21.6 per cent to $6.99.

The company said on Friday that the temporary closure of its retail stores during the pandemic cost it approximately $9 million to $11 million in lost sales, but cost-reduction initiatives including layoffs and government assistance means second-half profit will still be up 15 to 20 per cent on last year.

The company expects to make $39 million to $40 million in underlying net profit after tax in FY19, compared to $42.1 million in FY19.

Revenue is forecast to be between $260 million to $263 million, compared to $268 million last fiscal year.

Nick Scali's showrooms reopened by the end of April and the company said that in May and the first half of June it has "experienced a significant rebound in customer activity".

The retailer said it expects sales for May and June to be up 54 per cent from a year ago.

It also said it anticipates sales revenue in the three months to September 30 to be up 30 per cent.