Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

The board of fashion and food retailer Woolworths told shareholders on Friday that it could not say with any certainty that it will not have to take further write-offs on the value of its Australian business David Jones, which was hit by a R7bn write-down in early 2018. Deputy chairman and head of the group’s audit committee, Hubert Brody, said that the decision whether further impairments would be needed is part of an annual process followed by the board. Brody told shareholders that the board needs to determine if the R7bn impairment of David Jones, which was bought for R21bn in 2014 as part of its strategy to create the largest retailer in the southern hemisphere, was adequate. "I can’t tell you with any certainty if we will or will not need additional impairments. The last impairment was done recently. We have to see how the business plan we put in place works out," he told shareholders at the annual general meeting (AGM).

Brody, who is expected to take over as group chair...

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