The R6.9bn impairment of Australian department store chain David Jones knocked Woolworths into a loss of R3.5bn for its 2018 financial year, from a profit of R5.4bn in the prior year, it reported on Thursday morning. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) declined 17.7% to 346.3c. Woolworths cut its final dividend by 27.5% to 130.5c, taking its total for its 2018 financial year to R2.39, a 23.6% decline from the previous year’s R3.13. The retail group’s overall turnover grew 1.6% to R75bn. Of the five divisions Woolworths segments itself into, food was its star performer, growing both sales and profit by more than 8%. The food division contributed 43% of the group’s sales, but only 27% of gross profit. What Woolworths calls its "fashion, beauty and home" division suffered a 1.5% decline in sales and 4% decline in gross profit. "Our womenswear modern range failed to resonate with our core customer," Woolworths CEO Ian Moir said in the results statement. "In Woolworths fashion, beauty and...

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