David Jones’s profit soars ahead of sale; Country Road prospers, too

(Source: David Jones / Facebook)

Sales and profit through the David Jones department store chain and Country Road Group surged in the half year to December 25, according to a filing by South African parent Woolworths Holdings. 

The company said its Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries “continued their positive momentum” despite the increased inflationary pressures during the period. 

In the David Jones business, Woolworths said a successful turnaround strategy had resulted in a “notable improvement” in underlying operational and financial health.

Adjusted operating profit was up 245.8 per cent to $106.5 million with overall turnover up by 31.8 per cent and concession sales by 27.6 per cent. 

Online sales contributed 17.2 per cent of total sales, compared to 28.1 per cent for the prior period. Flagship and CBD stores performed ahead of expectations, the company said. 

Woolworths announced in December that it was to sell the David Jones business to Anchorage Capital and the division’s results will now be included in the interim results as a discontinued operation. Settlement is expected by the end of this month.  

At Country Road Group – where the Politix and Witchery chains were the star performers – strong full-price sales and reduced promotional activity saw gross profit margin increase by 400 basis points to 63.5 per cent, despite higher supply-chain costs which contributed to a 22 per cent increase in expenses against the previous comparable period, where lockdowns were in place for part of the time.

Adjusted operating profit increased by 94.2 per cent to $93.2 million.

The group’s comp-store sales rose by 26.6 per cent and overall sales by 25.5 per cent during the half. Online sales contributed 26.1 per cent of total sales, compared to 33.8 per cent a year earlier.

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