By Aimee Chanthadavong

David Jones has reported total sales revenue of $411.7 million for the third quarter of the 2011 financial year being the period 30 January 2011 to 30 April 2011.

Its like-for-like sales were -1.3 per cent on this period while its total sales revenue growth compared to the same period last year is down to -1.4 per cent from $417.4 million.

Comparing the sales for third quarter financial year of 2011 to the same calendar weeks in 2010, total sales decreased by 3.2 per cent and on an like-for-like basis sales declined by 3.1 per cent.

David Jones CEO Paul Zahra told RetailBiz trading conditions remained difficult for the quarter but the company experienced slight improvement.

“It was a tough quarter in February and March. But in April it returned to normal trading and we experienced broadly flat sales,” he said.

Like all retailers, it continues to maintain aggressive discounting to address the conservative consumer sentiment.

“Fortunately we have a strong business model and an experienced management team and we managed the key components of our business (such as inventory and costs) very tightly,” Zahra said.

Contemporary Womenswear, Accessories, Menswear and Childrenswear were the better performing categories while on a state-by-state basis, the trend reflected the impact of cautious consumer sentiment.

According to Zahra, the launch of the new Westfield Sydney Centre has helped drive foot traffic into its Sydney CBD store.

“The new Wesstfield Sydney in the Sydney CBD has driven foot traffic to our store significantly, especially since Zara has opened.  It has been well reported that there are now growing queues in our stores,” he said.

The company also said, its redeveloped Bourke Street Mall in Victoria and its recently opened Claremont Quarter store are also performing well.

Looking forward, there is no further deterioration in trading conditions, David Jones expected its second half year profit after tax for 2011 to be approximately +5 per cent.

It has also reaffirmed its five to 10 per cent profit after tax growth guidance for the financial year of 2012.