August 31, 2017 / 2:46 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Harvey Norman profit jumps but dividend cut sends shares sliding

* Overseas sales, higher property values push up profit

* Company cuts final dividend, shares down 7 pct (Recasts on dividend cut, adds analyst comment)

By Anusha Ravindranath

Aug 31 (Reuters) - Australian electronics retailer Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd said annual net profit jumped 29 percent on overseas sales growth and higher property values, beating forecasts, but cut its dividend, sending its shares down sharply.

Its final dividend was slashed to 12 Australian cents per share, from 17 cents last year. Harvey Norman said in a statement that it was reviewing its capital management strategy, without elaborating.

Shares of the country’s biggest electronics retailer had tumbled 7.2 percent by mid-session, their biggest decline since March.

“Anytime you talk about cutting dividend, it is probably not going to be too well received by the market,” said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress.

“Also, it is a very competitive landscape with the arrival of Amazon,” Le Brun added.

Australian retail stocks have been hammered after global e-commerce giant Inc said in April that it would open its online shopfront service in the country.

Net profit for the year ended June 30 was A$449 million ($355 million) compared with A$348.6 million a year ago, beating analyst forecasts of about A$414 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Harvey Norman said it experienced rapid sales growth in New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, while an upward revision of its property portfolio added A$108.05 million to its net profit. ($1 = 1.2652 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nicole Pinto; Editing by Byron Kaye and Edwina Gibbs)

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