Wool­worths is ex­pect­ing higher prof­its

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - – Ka­belo Khu­malo

RE­TAIL gi­ant Wool­worths said yes­ter­day that it ex­pected its prof­its for the year ended June to be higher than the prof­its recorded in the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod, ow­ing to prof­its after its sub­sidiary, David Jones, sold off one of its non-core as­sets in the pe­riod. “Share­hold­ers are ad­vised that earn­ings per share (EPS) for the 52-week pe­riod ended June 25, 2017 is ex­pected to be sub­stan­tially higher than the EPS for the 52-week pe­riod ended June 26, 2016, due to the profit on dis­posal by David Jones of its Mar­ket Street prop­erty in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, as well as the ben­e­fit of a lower ef­fec­tive tax rate,” the com­pany said in a state­ment. Wool­worths bought David Jones in 2014, pay­ing $2.2 bil­lion (R29.42bn) for the com­pany. David Jones last year dis­posed of its Mar­ket Street Syd­ney store for $360 mil­lion to Scen­tre Group. David Jones will con­tinue to oc­cupy the site un­til late 2019 un­der a lease agree­ment. The group said that sales in the pe­riod in­creased by a mod­est 3 per­cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year, as growth in the sec­ond half of the year was ad­versely af­fected by the in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult trad­ing con­di­tion. The group’s South African cloth­ing and gen­eral mer­chan­dise sales in­creased by a mar­ginal 1.4 per­cent in the pe­riod un­der re­view, while its re­tail space grew by a net 2.2 per­cent. The com­pany said that the sub­dued growth in the sec­ond half of the year was as a re­sult of sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic up­heaval. The com­pany’s home mar­ket’s food busi­ness in­creased by 8.6 per­cent in the pe­riod, but its growth in the sec­ond half of the year was im­pacted by lower in­fla­tion. The group’s Coun­try Road Group sales in­creased by 5.1 per­cent in Aus­tralian dol­lar terms. The com­pany said that the in­clu­sion of newly-ac­quired Poli­tix had added 3.7 per­cent to Coun­try Road sales and the com­pany also said that the fi­nan­cial ser­vices debtors’ book re­flected year-on-year growth of 3.3 per­cent, with an im­pair­ment rate for the year at 6.3 per­cent, which is up from the 5.7 per­cent that has been recorded in the com­par­a­tive pe­riod.

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