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SYDNEY, Nov 27 AAP

November 27 2012, 1:59PM

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey is expecting Christmas sales to be up on last year, especially if we have a hot summer.

Mr Harvey told reporters after Harvey Norman's annual general meeting in Sydney on Tuesday that he thought December sales would improve on the same month in 2011 despite October and November sales being lower than he expected.

But he said the weather would still play a part in the success of the electrical, furniture and bedding retailer's Christmas sales.

"I think December, I'm hopeful, will beat last year," he told reporters.

"That might have a bit to do with the weather. If we have a really hot period across Australia and we sell a lot of air conditioners, then we'll definitely beat last year.

"If it's cold every day then we'll battle because air conditioners are a big part of our business in December."

He said he had also decided to reinstate Santa Claus at Harvey Norman for the festive season after axing Saint Nick in most of its stores last year.

"This year I've agreed that Santa can come back into the store,"

Mr Harvey said the company does not charge for the Santa photographs but it attracted more people to the store and therefore increased sales.

"It is working well," he said.

"Last weekend we had umpteen thousand of people into our stores and we had a good weekend because we've got the Santa and the kids can get their photograph taken."