February 22, 2018 / 5:31 AM / 9 months ago

Woolworths Holdings' profit falls on Australia arm write-down

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - South African retailer Woolworths Holdings reported a 15 percent drop in half-year profit on Thursday in part hurt by a hefty write-down charge on the value of its David Jones business in Australia.

Woolworths, which sells groceries, food and homeware, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) fell to 206.3 South African cents in the six months to Dec. 24, from 242.6 cents a year earlier, while earnings per share turned into a loss of 505.9 cents.

HEPS is the most widely watched profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

Woolworths booked a non-cash impairment charge of A$712.5 million ($556.04 million) against the carrying value of David Jones as a result of the cyclical downturn and structural changes that have impacted performance across the Australian retail sector. ($1 = 1.2814 Australian dollars) ($1 = 11.6742 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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