Harvey Norman –18.8%

SINGAPORE (June 26): ASX-listed Harvey Norman Holdings (HVN) operates and franchises household goods retail stores across Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), Europe (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and Croatia), and Southeast Asia (Singapore and Malaysia). To recap, HVN’s main business is in discretionary retail such as furniture and consumer electronics, and is supported by its franchising operations and robust property portfolio. HVN was the worst performer among our pick of 10 stocks, recording an 18.8% loss in the 6 months, but only slightly underperformed the other two benchmark indices, the MSCI Australia and ASX 200 which lost 17.0% and 14.7% respectively.

Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 was a big hit on HVN. In the latest retail trading update in June, HVN remains uncertain about the prospects. All of HVN’s stores across the globe were subject to lockdown measures from government decrees, as shops were forced to close stores temporarily. Business wise, HVN experienced a drop in year-to-date sales across all countries except Ireland compared to the same period the previous year. Northern Ireland and Singapore were the mostly badly hit, with aggregated company sales declining 43.2% and 26.1% respectively during this period.

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