Woolworths profit falls as Australia charge hurts

The food and clothing group booked an impairment charge of A$437.4 million ($295.42 million) against David Jones, reducing the unit’s valuation to about A$965 million.

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JOHANNESBURG - Woolworths posted a 2.1% drop in annual earnings and said it had written down the value of its Australian upmarket department store chain David Jones on subdued consumer spending in a slowing economy.

The food and clothing group booked an impairment charge of A$437.4 million ($295.42 million) against David Jones, reducing the unit’s valuation to about A$965 million, it said in a statement on Thursday.

The food and clothing group said adjusted headline earnings per share, which exclude the impairment, for the 52 weeks ended June fell to 356.3 cents from 364.1 cents in the previous 52-week period.

HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.