Woolworths posts strong sales for 2010

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 22nd July 2010

Australia’s largest grocery retailer Woolworths Ltd yesterday posted a 4.8% increase in annual sales, excluding petrol, for the financial year ended 30 June.

Turnover reached $51.7 billion on the back of higher revenues and same-store sales from its divisions in Australia and New Zealand.

The retailer’s Australian Food and Liquor division posted the most significant gains, increasing 5.1% on the previous year, to reach $34.67 billion.

Woolworths’ New Zealand Supermarkets division booked a 2.4% gain in sales (in Australian dollars) to reach $4.13bn.

The Australian Food and Liquor division posted a 3.3% increase in comparable sales, which the Woolworths said was impacted by continued low food inflation of 1.1%, a result of deflation in produce and perishables.

During the fourth quarter, sales in the division increased 3.4%. Comparable sales were up 1.8%.

Woolworths’ New Zealand Supermarkets division saw comparable sales grow 4% over the year. It said the result continues to demonstrate the benefits of a transition to a single brand as well as its hard work in developing new formats, improved ranges and growing its private label.

During the fourth quarter, sales in the New Zealand Supermarkets division increased 5.2% (in NZ$) and comparable sales were up 4.1%. The results were impacted by deflation, falling 1.4% over the quarter, a decrease on the positive 5.6% in the same period of the previous year.

Commenting on the results Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe said: “Our business-wide strategy to deliver optimum value for our customers has resulted in solid sales at a time when consumers are doing it tough and tightening the purse strings.”

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