By Patrick Avenell

David Jones Limited has today announced a sombre result for the 2011 Financial Year, with total sales and profit after tax (PAT) both declining compared to the previous year.

Total sales dipped below $2 billion, with DJs racking up $1.961 billion in revenue, compared to $2.051 the year before. This dip of 4.4 per cent was cushioned by a small decrease in the cost of doing business (down 80 basis points to 29 per cent), resulting in a profit after tax decrease of only 1.5 per cent.

In real money terms, David Jones PAT decreased by $2.7 million to $168.1 million year-on-year. This is still ahead of its main competitor, Myer, which reported a NPAT of $162.7 million for the same period.

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Although CEO Paul Zahra noted “extremely challenging trading conditions”, especially in last quarter of FY2011, he remained optimistic about the future.

“In FY2011 we took the view that it was imperative for the long term success of the business that we invest in initiatives such as our new point of sale, a new IT platform to facilitate our transition into becoming a successful multi-channel retailer, our new Claremont Quarter (WA) store, the refurbishment of our Chadstone (VIC) and Warringah Mall (NSW) stores, the roll-out of our branded installations, and the introduction of 90 new brands into the business,” Zahra said.

Further ‘strategic highlights’ for the future include the national launch of a new Personal Shopping service, a new brand campaign built around the slogan “Was. Is. Always David Jones”, and a digital marketing program through Facebook and Twitter.