Woolworths Holdings has issued a trading update on group performance, reporting a 11.3% decline in turnover and concession sales at David Jones for the nine months of the 2022/23 financial year relative to the statutory 12 months reported in the prior year.

The sale of David Jones to Anchorage Partners was completed on 27 March 2023 with accounts currently being finalised. David Jones will be reported as a discontinued operation in the group’s results for the FY23 year.

Commenting on the results, Woolworths Holdings blamed interest rate rises and increased cost-of-living for the department store’s weakening performance.

“Following a very strong first half result, trading momentum saw a pronounced deceleration in the second half, as the impact of sustained increases in interest rates and higher costs of living weighed on consumer confidence and discretionary retail spend,” Woolworths Holdings said in a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

However, turnover and concession sales on a comparable nine-month basis increased 23.6% and 21% in comparable stores.