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Firm Dick sales excite buyers

Woolies stroking queue of purchasers for soft-core business

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“A number of potential purchasers have expressed interest” in acquiring Dick Smith from Woolworths, according to half-year results released today.

The report shows why the chain may not be an entirely impotent force in the market – sales were up 2.4% for the half despite generally tough retail trading conditions. New format Dick Smith stores did even better with sales surging 8.7%. Profits, however, were elusive with just $19.5 million remaining from $873 million in sales.

The giant retailer has therefore popped a $300 million “restructuring provision” onto its books as part of its plan to divest itself of the electronics business, which is now in the balance sheet dustbin of discontinued operations and therefore earns stern language describing it as non-core business.

The results document is silent on just who wants to stroke Dick Smith back to life, or just when a new owner will be announced.

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