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AAP

2012-11-23

Recent interest rate cuts have yet to work their magic on consumers and get them spending again, David Jones' outgoing chairman Bob Savage says.

Addressing shareholders during his final annual general meeting as chairman, Mr Savage said the high Australian dollar, uncertainty in Europe and the United States and volatility on equity markets were hampering trading conditions in Australia.

"The past year has been a difficult environment for retailers," he told shareholders on Friday.

"Consumer sentiment remains subdued despite interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia."

Mr Savage surprised investors late on Thursday with news that he was resigning from the retailer's board.

He has served as chairman for the past nine years and been on the board for 13 years.

His deputy Peter Mason will take over as chairman at the end of the year.

Chief executive Paul Zahra told shareholders the troubled department store chain was well prepared for the Christmas shopping season.

"Despite the short term outlook of challenging retail conditions, as with all economic cycles, a trough is followed by a peak," he said.

The annual meeting comes just two days after David Jones reported sales revenue rose a slender 0.3 per cent to $415.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.

Analysts were expecting a rise of up to one per cent, in line with rival Myer's first quarter results announced last week.

David Jones shares were two cents higher at $2.46 at 1018 AEDT.