Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain named for its founder, has appointed Icebreaker executive chairman and former Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe as a new director.

The appointment takes the retailer's board to eight directors, of which four, including Fyfe, are independent, the company said in a statement. Fyfe was chief executive of the national carrier between 2005 and 2012, and last year said he was on the hunt for a full-time management position in New Zealand.

In October, Michael Hill said it lifted first-quarter sales 8.7 per cent with growth in Australia and Canada after a weak end to the 2013 financial year in what's been weak retail environment for several years.

The shares were unchanged at $1.39 in trading on Friday, having gained 13 per cent in 2013. The stock is rated an average 'buy' based on two analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters with a median target price of $1.53.

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