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By
Reuters
Published
Aug 28, 2014
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S.Africa's Woolworths lifts FY profit by 10 pct, lags consensus

By
Reuters
Published
Aug 28, 2014

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South African retailer Woolworths reported a lower-than-expected 10 percent increase in full-year profit on Thursday, hit by costs related to its acquisition of Australia's David Jones.

Woolworths, which sells upscale food and clothes, said diluted headline earnings per share totaled 360 cents, below a 389 cent estimate in a Reuters poll of 14 analysts.

Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

Woolworths, which recently acquired Australia's second-largest department store, David Jones, said sales increased 14.4 percent to 39.5 billion rand($3.72 billion).

Retailers in Africa's second largest economy are struggling to grow sales as consumers rein in spending due to high personal debt, unemployment and rising fuel and transport prices.

But Woolworths, similar in style and products to Britain's Marks & Spencer, is faring better as most of its customers are from the high-income category.

Shares in Woolworths have gained about third in the past twelve months, far outpacing rivals such Massmart and the broader market.

1 US dollar = 10.6085 South African rand

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