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David Jones H1 Sales Resurrect

David Jones H1 Sales ResurrectThe high end retailer today reported total sales were up 3.8% to $1,042 million although profits fell.

Like-For-Like (LFL) sales also rose 1.1%.

David Jones reported a profit after tax of $70.1 million for the half year ended 25 January 2014 – a drop from $73.5 million NPAT reported in 1H13. 
However, DJ’s said earnings before tax grew 8.3% to $91.6 million. 
David Jones CEO Paul Zahra said, “our result this half reflects the momentum that our Future Strategic Direction Plan is gaining, with our core Department Store business delivering 8.3% EBIT growth.”
EBIT contribution from the retailers Financial Services business halved, in line with previous guidance.
Fashion, Beauty and Homewares departments performed strongly. 
DJ’s online sales grew 220% on the same time a year ago. 
Excluding the Electronics department (now operated by Dick Smith) like-for-like sales were up 2.4% in Q1 and 3.6% in second quarter. 
The Dick Smith retail management agreement allows DJ’s to benefit in the “upside” when sales from the Electronics category exceed the minimum guaranteed base level.  
Zahra also announced the retailer will close six “low productivity stores” as their leases expire including Birkenhead Point, NSW and Harbour Town, QLD. 
David Jones has a total of six leases in less robust demographies due to expire in the next five years.