David Jones sales fall in 2013

Retail giant says consumer sentiment, discounting weighed on sales revenue.

David Jones (DJS) has posted a slight fall in sales for the financial 2013 year, saying consumer sentiment and discounting across the sector continued to challenge.

For the 12 months to June 30, sales revenue totalled $1.85 billion, down 1.2% from $1.87 billion booked in the previous year.

Like-for-like sales revenue also fell, to $1.83 billion in the year, from $1.87 billion in 2012. 

However, fourth-quarter like-for-like sales fell less than expected, dropping 2.9% compared to consensus forecasts for a 3.7% decline.

In a statement accompanying the figures, David Jones chief executive and managing director Paul Zahra said the retail environment remained challenging through the fourth quarter.

 "A number of retailers [were] engaging in aggressive discounting in order to address inventory build-up resulting from the unseasonally warm 2013 winter," he said. 

Fourth-quarter sales for the group totalled $449.8 million, a 1.3% slip from the $455.8 million booked in the previous corresponding quarter. 

Revenue from like-for-like sales in the the three months to June 30 was $442.8 million, a 2.9% fall from $455.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Significant upside to electronic sales, which dragged on results in the fourth quarter, was not expected in 2014, despite the group's recent brand management agreement with Dick Smith. But Mr Zahra said the partnership would effectively enable electronics to become a "profit contributor". 

Meanwhile, the group was making "good progress" in exiting music, DVDs and electronic games, he said. 

The retailer's share price jumped 2.8% to $2.90 at 1031 AEST.