David Jones sales fall in first half: Midday roundup

Department store giant David Jones has recorded a small fall in sales for the first half the year – down by 0.07% compared to the previous corresponding period.

Sales totalled $1.0057 billion, with the company saying it had been damaged by the declining sales in home categories. In the second quarter, sales fell 1.4% to $590.1 million.

Chief executive and managing director Paul Zahra said the company was specifically pleased with results in the fashion and beauty categories.

“Our sales performance during this period was however adversely impacted by our home categories, in particular electronics, which continued to be challenging and subject to ongoing deflationary pressure,” he said.

“Our focus is on improving the profitability of our sales.”

Swan debunks income tax hike speculation

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has put down speculation the government could increase the personal income tax rates, saying the notion is “ridiculous and absurd”.

“The proposition of this question is utterly ridiculous and absurd. The government’s record on personal income taxes couldn’t be more clear,” he said in a statement.

“Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey must come out immediately and rule out their devious tax increase for hard working families,” Swan said, referring to the Coalition’s plan to reduce the higher tax-free threshold.

Shares remain above 5,000 point mark

Australian shares have remained about the 5,000 mark this morning, following yesterday’s rise which saw the share market close above 5,000 for the first time in almost three years.

The S&P/ASX200 index was at 5011.3, up 7.6 points at 11:55am, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 35.8 points or 0.3% to 13,982.9.

The banking sector posted minor loses this morning with ANZ, CBA and NAB shares falling slightly, despite the banks buoying the market above 5,000 yesterday.



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