SYDNEY, AAP – JB Hi-Fi has posted record interim sales after customers scooped up the retailer’s gadget and entertainment offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total sales soared almost 24 per cent to $4.9 billion in the six months ended December, driven by strong in-store and online growth in the Australian market.

This helped JB Hi-Fi meet its forecast for an 86.2 per cent rise in first-half net profit to $317.7 million.

CEO Richard Murphy described it as “an extraordinary period”.

“We remain excited by the outlook for the business.”

Most sales were in the consumer electronic and home appliances categories.

The Australian JB Hi-Fi business saw online sales growth of more than 200 per cent in the half.

The sales momentum has continued into January and JB Hi-Fi is tipping further growth between 14.1 per cent and 21.7 per cent across its Australian and New Zealand businesses.

The outlook for its Good Guys whitegoods subsidiary is also solid following sales growth of 26.4 per cent in the first half.

Investors will be rewarded with a spike in the interim dividend payout to $1.80 per share, from 90 cents in the final half of 2019/20.