Metcash deliver record profit

Posted by James Ferre on 3rd June 2008

Australia’s largest wholesaler, Metcash Limited, has posted an 18.4 per cent rise in net profit in the year to 30 April 2008.

Fresh produce sales and their distribution business provided the impetus for the company to deliver record results.

Metcash Chief Executive Officer, Mr Andrew Reitzer, was very pleased with the result in the wake of difficult conditions. “The result has been very strong across all of our three main divisions, despite tighter economic conditions, with higher fuel prices and interest rates, as well as strong competition from the dominant national chains,” he claimed.

Metcash outlined their opinion that the grocery market remained very volatile due to inflationary pressures and negative consumer sentiment. Mr Reitzer also suggested that the regulatory environment is currently unpredictable. “The regulatory environment is unstable in regard to trading hours, liquor taxes and workplace reforms to be put in place,” he added.

Despite these concerns Metcash believe they will witness growth in the coming year and report that May sales “continue to be satisfactory”. “We have built up good momentum and expect further profit growth in the new financial year,” Mr Reitzer said.

Metcash indicated that the increase in operating cash flow would be put toward maximising trading opportunities, investment in supply chain initiatives, debt reduction and greater returns to shareholders. They also outlined their desire to expand beyond the grocery and liquor sector.

Metcash also reported 55 new IGA store openings throughout Australia last year and outlined plans for 38 new store openings in the coming financial year.