“Solid result” says Woolworths chief of second quarter sales
Woolworths Limited has today released its second quarter results, up 3.8 per cent in the supermarket division and 4.8 per cent overall compared with this time last year.
Woolworths’ food and liquor division reported revenue of $10.35 billion, and $13.2 billion across the entire supermarket division in Australia and New Zealand. The revenue was slightly higher than Coles $9.9 billion announced yesterday, in spite of Coles’ stronger sales growth.
Australian Food and Liquor performed well, growing by $0.9 billion, and continued to increase market share, customer numbers, basket size and items sold when compared to the same period last year. Effective promotional activities, leveraging growing customer data capabilities, and the return to inflation in produce were reported to have assisted this result.
Woolworths Chief Executive Grant O’Brien said the “solid result” was a reflection on the focus to better meet customers’ needs.
“The growth our businesses are achieving while pursuing a transformational path for Woolworths is pleasing. However, there is still a great deal more to do,” Mr O’Brien said.
Managing Director Australian Supermarkets and Petrol, Tjeerd Jegen, said that supermarket success was driven by strong sales in December, with produce, seafood and meat departments exceeding performance expectations.
“We have improved our performance in packaged goods but remain focused on building further momentum in this area to achieve the results we are targeting,” Mr Jegen said.
“The continuation of our ‘For Less For Families’ program as well as the launch of our ‘Cash For Christmas’ campaign have all been well received,” Mr Jegen added.
Woolworths Limited was pleased with the BIG W result for the first half with sales increasing 3.6 per cent on the previous year. A strong Christmas campaign assisted momentum in what Woolworths described as a “challenging second quarter.”
Woolworths owned hotels reported sales growth of 19.3 per cent for the half year driven by the acquisition of 29 hotels in NSW, two in QLD and one in WA. This was also due to the changes to Victorian gaming regulations which came into effect in August 2012.
Woolworths’ Home Improvement business continued to grow with 25 Masters stores now trading, of which 10 opened during the half. Woolworths reported that the launch of our ‘I made it with Masters’ marketing campaign has received a positive reception in all markets.
Woolworths now has Masters stores trading in all mainland Australian states and the ACT and continue to be pleased by the performance of this business.
Woolworths’ exit from the Consumer Electronics category was completed during the second quarter. The sale of the Indian business to Infiniti Retail Limited completed in October 2012 and the sale of Dick Smith Electronics Australia and New Zealand to Anchorage Capital Partners completed in November 2012.
Online sales from continuing operations increased 40 per cent for the half year, which Woolworths reported indicates the ongoing success of multi-option strategies across all businesses.