Woolies interim results December 2017
Revenue for the interim period increased by 2.9% to R36.3 billion (2016: R35.3 billion), gross profit rose 3.4% to R14.4 billion (2016: R13.9 billion), operating profit fell 15.6% to R3.1 billion (2016: R3.7 billion), while loss attributable to shareholders of the parent came in at R4.9 billion (2016: profit of R3.3 billion). Furthermore, headline earnings per share dropped 15% to 206.3 cents per share (2016: 242.6 cents per share).
The board of directors has declared an interim gross cash dividend per ordinary share of 108.5 cents (86.8 cents net of dividend withholding tax) for the 26 weeks ended 24 December 2017, a 18.4% decrease on the prior period's 133.0 cents per share.
In South Africa, trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the second half, but should then improve, as the impact of the new political leadership resonates through the economy and consumer sentiment. We are confident that our Food business will continue to grow ahead of the market, and that recent changes made to design and buying structures in Fashion, Beauty and Home are expected to improve the womenswear offering.
In Australia, growth and consumer sentiment is also expected to improve slowly on the back of improving economic indicators, including a strengthening labour market, although high levels of promotional activity will continue. We will underpin this with a cost and efficiency review, as we further consolidate our Australian operations. The Board remains committed to the ongoing transformation of David Jones, and will continue to invest in the future of the business.