Woolworths H1 profits meet lowered target

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 28th February 2011

Woolworths logoWoolworths Ltd, Australia’s largest retailer, booked a 6% rise in half-year profits on Friday, hitting the top end of a forecast it lowered last month.The company posted net profit after tax of $1.16 billion for the 27 weeks to 2 January.

Last month, Woolworths cut its profit growth target for the first half of its financial year from 8-11% to 5-6%, citing lower consumer spending and the poor weather seen in Australia in recent months.

The retailer’s EBIT was up 6.2% to $1.79 billion, while its earnings per share were up 6.9% to $0.95.

Woolworths sales for the first six months of its fiscal year were up 4% at $28.3 billion. Excluding petrol, sales rose 3.8%. The retailer’s sales slowed during the second quarter of the year as its sales excluding fuel had risen 4.2% in the first quarter.

Nevertheless, MD and CEO Michael Luscombe said Woolworths’ results were “sound”.

“Woolworths Limited today reported an increase in earnings per share of 6.9% and net profit after tax of 6%. This is a sound result delivered in a period of challenging conditions across the retail sector in both Australia and New Zealand,” Luscombe said.
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