Woolworths, the food, clothing, and homeware retailer, has announced a significant increase in its total dividend, reaching 313 cents per share for the 52 weeks ending in June 2023. This represents a 36.4% increase compared to the previous period, as the company’s shareholders benefit from the sale of the Australian business, David Jones.
- The disposal of David Jones has been described as “transformational” for Woolworths, unlocking R7.7 billion in value for shareholders and removing R18 billion in liabilities from the company’s balance sheet.
- The sale of David Jones, concluded in March 2023 for R1.2 billion, resulted in a profit on disposal of R411 million for Woolworths.
- The strategic move to repurchase shares worth R2.9 billion and the conclusion of the David Jones sale have contributed to the company’s record earnings. Total group earnings per share rose by 42.2% to 551 cents, while headline earnings per share increased by 29% to 514 cents per share.
- Woolworths reported a 6.9% increase in total group turnover and concession sales to R93 billion, excluding the discontinued David Jones business. Turnover and concession sales, excluding David Jones, increased by 10.8% to R73.2 billion compared to the prior period.
- The company’s profit before tax rose by 29.5% to R6.7 billion, and the gross profit margin increased to 24.4%.
- Woolworths expects the operating environment to remain challenging, with reduced consumer spending and load shedding affecting its Australian operations. However, the company remains confident in its ability to deliver on its strategies following the sale of David Jones.