By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: If anyone thought Australia’s biggest sexual harassment case would affect David Jones’ sales, they were wrong.
The luxury retailer today posted a record profit after tax of $170.8 million and a 1.9 per cent increase on prior year on like for like sales.
Strong results in spite of cycling the government’s stimulus package were words bandied about by David Jones CEO Paul Zahra, in a similar vein to the way other CEO’s of publicly listed retailers explained their results this year.
“Despite intensive discounting and promotional activity in the retail sector this year we as we cycled two Government Stimulus packages we are delighted to report that our Company has delivered a record profit result and declared a record dividend – both being the highest since listing in 1995,” said Zahra in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange first this morning.
David Jones’ sales result represents more than triple that of rival retailer Myer, who posted a 0.5 per cent like for like sales growth in its full year results released last week, during which time the company also announced its complete exit from whitegoods.
The giant retailers were neck in neck for their profit after tax results with Myer registering $169 million compared to David Jones’ $170.8 million.
David Jones, its entire board and ex David Jones CEO Mark McInnes are being sued by Kristy Fraser-Kirk for an historic $37 million, claiming McInnes made unwelcome sexual advances towards her, and that the company tolerates a culture of sexual harassment.