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UPDATE 1-South Africa's Woolworths H1 profit jumps 29 pct
February 12, 2015 / 6:01 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's Woolworths H1 profit jumps 29 pct

(Adds details, background)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 12 (Reuters) - South African high-end retailer Woolworths Holdings Ltd posted a 29 percent jump in half-year profit on Thursday, boosted by the acquisition of Australian department store chain David Jones.

Woolworths said adjusted headline EPS totalled 244 cents in the six months ended December compared with 188.5 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off times.

Sales increased 55 percent to 30.3 billion rand ($2.56 billion), thanks to a contribution from David Jones, whose acquisition was closed in August last year.

Stripping out the impact of David Jones, sales would have increased by 12.5 percent.

Retailers in South Africa are struggling to grow sales at a faster pace as consumers rein in spending due to high personal debt, unemployment and rising fuel and transport prices.

But Woolworths, similar in style and products to Britain’s Marks & Spencer, is faring better as most of its customers are from the high-income category. ($1 = 11.8455 rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Anand Basu)

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