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Ian Moir, CEO of Woolworths, is jaw-droppingly energetic. Analysts got another demonstration of the now-familiar energy and optimism that has characterised Moir’s 21 years with Woolworths (he has been CEO for nine of those) at last week’s half-year results presentation, as he lightly reeled off the challenges facing the group, as well as the many signs they were now on the right track. "Our clothing business is coming back … we’re doing the right thing, taking the right approach; the new executives understand the market," he said. As for Australia, where the market is "really tough", Moir told analysts: "David Jones performed well, right up to the end of November." He enthusiastically reminded everyone present that "we’re building a business that’s future-fit". It was all chillingly reminiscent of comments he made after dire results in September 2017: "… we can fix this, we can get it right and we can get back to what we said we were going to deliver ... " With Moir’s default settin...

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