Why South Africa’s Woolworths expects earnings to fall as much as 5% in 2019

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings reported on Thursday that it expects earnings to fall as much as 5% this year due to further impairments on its David Jones department store business.

Woolworths, which also has operations in Australia and New Zealand, said that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year is expected between 345.9 to 364.1 cents, compared to 364.1 cents in the same period last year.

HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

“The impairment reflects the economic headwinds and the accelerating structural changes affecting the Australian retail sector as well as the performance of the business, which has fallen short of expectations,” the company said.

Reporting by Onke Ngcuka, editing by Deepa Babington

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