Australia's David Jones H1 profits down 13.5 pct, retains property
SYDNEY, March 20 |
SYDNEY, March 20 (Reuters) - David Jones, Australia's No.2 department store chain, reported a larger-than-expected 13.5 percent fall in first half earnings, hurt by challenging retail conditions, and said it was still looking at how to unlock value from its property assets.
The upmarket retailer, which features model Miranda Kerr in its advertising and runway shows, reported a net profit after tax and non-controlling interests of A$73.5 million ($76.1 million) in the six months ending January 26.
That compared with A$85.0 million a year ago and an average forecast of A$75.0 million, according to Reuters calculation based on estimates from five analysts.
"Our (first half) profit after tax has been impacted by ongoing investment in implementing our future strategic direction plan as well as by challenging retail conditions," said chief executive Paul Zahra in a statement on Wednesday.
Same-store sales declined 0.7 percent in the half, the company said.
David Jones said it was continuing to explore options to unlock value of Sydney and Melbourne flagship store properties, whilst retaining ownership of retail trading space.
The retailer put a $640 million value on its property portfolio in September as it initiated a six-month review of the four large buildings that house its department stores, spurring speculation it might look to sell properties.
David Jones, like its bigger rival Myer Holdings Ltd , has seen its sales hit by a high Australian dollar and a shift to more online shopping.
Last week Myer beat forecasts by reporting flat first half profits, but did not provide full-year sales or profit guidance as it remained cautious about the retail environment.
(A$1 = $1.0360) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Lincoln Feast)
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