Woolworths shared its R1.76bn profit from the sale of Australian department store David Jones’s Sydney head office with shareholders by maintaining its interim dividend at R1.33 despite a decline in headline earnings. Diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS), which excludes profit from the property sale, fell 4.1% to 241.3c for the 26 weeks to December 25, the retail group reported on Thursday morning. Overall revenue grew 7.1% to R35bn and the R1.76bn windfall from the property sale helped net profit jump 37% to R3.3bn. Woolworths splits itself into four segments. Of these, food is the largest contributor to retail sales, accounting for 39% of the total R34bn. But food’s contribution to the group’s R14bn gross profit is 24%, placing it behind David Jones and its clothing and general merchandise division. David Jones contributed 23% of the group’s sales and 27% of its gross profit. Woolworths’s clothing and general merchandise division contributed 21% of total sales and 25% of gro...

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