Zahra still DJs CEO


Paul Zahra, david jonesDavid Jones boss, Paul Zahra, has given the strongest indication yet he will remain in the job, stressing that he hasn’t yet handed in his resignation.

Zahra signalled his intention to resign in October 2013, but the department store chain is yet to find a replacement.

The recently announced resignation of chairman Peter Mason and two directors has fuelled investor calls for him to remain in the job.

He declined to give a definitive answer to questions about his future with the company on Thursday, but stressed that he had not handed in his resignation.

“I would like to say that I’ve not resigned and I’m committed to working with the board to ensure the best outcome for shareholders and the company,” he said.

“That is all I’m prepared to say on this issue today.”

Earlier this week, Mason announced he and two directors, Steve Vamos and Leigh Clapham, would leave the company in the wake of investor concerns about controversial share purchases by Vamos and  Clapham.

Zahra’s comments came after David Jones announced an almost five per cent increase in sales during the three months to January 25.

The retailer’s total sales lifted 4.7 per cent to $618 million during the quarter.

It said sales of clothing, beauty and homewares grew, while poorly performing categories including CDs and DVDs and outdoor furniture were scrapped.

Total sales revenue for the first half of the 2013/14 financial year was $1.04 billion, up 3.6 per cent on the same period in the previous financial year.

Zahra said the company’s gross profit margin had taken a hit during the December quarter due to aggressive discounting over Christmas, but increased sales volumes meant profit would rise.

The company will report its half year profit in March.

David Jones shares were down one cent at $3.13 at 1233 AEDT.



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