Despite impact of warm winter.

Group sales increased by 8.9% for South African owner of David Jones, Woolworths Holdings, for the first 19 weeks of the 2017 financial year to November 6, 2016. The food category was the star performer, followed by David Jones, while Country Road suffered due to the slow start to summer and high promotional activity.

Woolworths clothing and general merchandise sales increased by 2% while sales in comparable stores were 0.8% lower and retail space grew by a net 2.9%. Meanwhile, Woolworths food sales increased by 9.1%, as sales in comparable stores grew by 4.9% and retail space grew by a net 8.3%.


David Jones sales increased by 2.2% in Australian Dollar terms with sales in comparable stores, after adjusting for the impact of the discontinued Dick Smith Electronic concession, grew by 0.6%. Country Road Group sales declined by 2.8% in Australian Dollar terms and sales in comparable stores were 4.9% lower.

In a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the company said, “The start to the financial year in both South Africa and Australia was impacted by an extremely warm winter and consequent very high levels of promotion, as all retailers sought to clear stock.

“As summer arrives, we are seeing sales improve, albeit in challenging conditions in both markets. The Woolworths Financial Services debtors’ book reflected year-on-year growth of 2% at the end of October 2016, with an annualised impairment rate for the four months ended 31 October 2016 at 6.4% (four months ended 31 October 2015: 5.0%). The Group’s interim results for the 26-week period ended 25 December 2016 are scheduled to be announced on or about 16 February 2017.”