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David Jones sales up

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David Jones has lifted its third quarter sales 4.1 per cent, with strong growth in a number of key categories.

The result comes the same day as the Foreign Investment Review Board gave the tick to South African retailer Wooloworths’ takeover bid.

The department store business sold $407.2 million worth of goods during the three months to April 26, which is up from $391.1 million for the same period a year ago.

On a like-for like basis, which excludes the impact of the opening of a new store at Malvern, in Melbourne’s southeast, sales were up 2.4 per cent for the quarter to $400.5 million, from $391.1 million in the 2013 third quarter.

Meanwhile, online sales almost tripled over the period.

The positive result is a far cry from the one per cent drop in sales suffered by rival Myer over the same period.

Myer blamed its result on refurbishment work at three of its largest stores.

David Jones said the retailer recorded growth across key categories including womenswear, menswear, beauty, shoes, accessories and homewares during the quarter.

“We are pleased to report that we continued to see sales growth momentum in 3Q14,” David Jones boss Paul Zahra said in a statement.

“We experienced our third consecutive quarter of total sales growth and our second consecutive quarter of LFL (like-for-like) sales growth this financial year.”

In further news for investors the FIRB board had notified South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings that the federal government had no objection to its proposed takeover of David Jones, DJs said on Tuesday.

Woolworths, which is not related to the Australian retailer of the same name, launched its takeover bid in April with a $4 per share offer.

The David Jones board has recommended shareholders vote in favour of the takeover at a meeting expected to be held in June.

“The David Jones Board continues to unanimously recommend that David Jones shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme at the upcoming Scheme Meeting, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the Scheme is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of David Jones shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

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