David Jones Delivers $84M Profit After $70.4M JobKeeper Handout
Finally, South African owned department store David Jones is getting their mojo back with the Woolworths Holdings retailer breaking three years of losses to post their first profit since 2018.
Key has been property sales and JobKeeper with their latest accounts revealing that in 2021, David Jones JobKeeper handouts in both and New Zealand to the tune of $70.94m against just $32.048m the year before.
It paid out the subsidies to its team and didn’t retrench employees due to the pandemic shutdowns.
Prior to the $84M profit the upmarket retail business had bled losses of over $1bn during the past three years.
In August the 183-year-old David Jones, posted an almost fourfold increase in its annual earnings for 2021 despite the shockwaves running through its retail stores due to Covid-19.
The latest accounts lodged with ASIC for Osiris Holdings, the local company that manages the David Jones business in Australia, reveal the David Jones business showed a net profit of $83.45m for the 52 weeks to the end of June, a turnaround from the loss of $125.9m in 2020.
The large loss in 2020 came on top of a $489.23m loss in 2019 and $785m in 2018.
Woolworths Holdings has burned through more than half of what the business was valued at when they acquired it, it is now reduced to less than $1bn.
According to the Osiris accounts, gross profit in 2021 had lifted to $737.423m from $672.398m in 2020 with the big shift in fortunes coming from “other income” (property sales and leases) that boosted to $122.728m from $31.977m in 2020.
According to notes in the accounts there was a $48.736m gain in lease modifications, against nil in 2020, and $42.06m in profit from property sales.
There was also a slight improvement in David Jones’ profit share from a credit card alliance, which rose to $26.78m in 2021 from $25.03m in 2020.
The Australian said that last year, has been a watershed moment for David Jones as its parent Woolworths Holdings as they moved quickly to patch up its performance, sell off properties and pay down debt.
Property sales included the sale of the Elizabeth St Sydney CBD building for $510m, producing a gain on the sale of $19.02m, and the sale of a building in Bourke St, Melbourne CBD, for $121m with a gain on the sale of $23.76m.
The fast pace of the turnaround was driven by key operational initiatives too, including ripping tens of millions of dollars of costs out of the business, shutting down most of its loss-making food halls, exiting its BP alliance and cutting floor space by as much as 7 per cent.