David Jones profit falls 6%; Rip Curl founders step down: Midday Roundup

Department store giant David Jones has announced a 6% decrease in full-year profit to $95.2 million – but the company’s shares have risen 5.6% this morning.

In a statement, the company said it still maintained a strong balance sheet, and noted underlying profit of $101.6 million was up from last year’s $101.1 million.

“All of these factors will ensure we are well placed to capitalise on any strengthening in consumer sentiment as it occurs,” chief executive Paul Zahra said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, we expect that over the next 12 months trading conditions will remain challenging, with consumer sentiment continuing to be subdued and ongoing competitive pressure.”

Rip Curl founders step aside from board

The two founders of surfwear and equipment business Rip Curl have stood aside from the company’s board, Fairfax has reported.

It has been reported Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer have stepped down from the company, although both will maintain large stakes in the business.

The news comes after reports suggested earlier this year the business could even be sold, although that plan was reportedly abandoned due to harsh market conditions.

The pair started the business in the 1960s, building the brand to become one of the most well-known and respected in the world.

Shares open higher on mixed offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, following mixed leads from offshore markets overnight as data from the United States showed consumer confidence fell during the month of September.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 36 points or 0.7% to 5271 at 11.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 66 points or 0.4% to 15,334.6.

The Australian dollar fell slightly to US93 cents.


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