Woolworths wins with $1.5 billion FY17 profit
Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths
The Woolworths Group has reported a $1.5 billion profit for its 2017 financial year.
The result is a significant turnaround on the group’s AUD $1.2 billion reported loss for its 2016 financial year when it was plagued by the losses of the now closed Masters hardware chain.
Australian food sales for Woolworths increased by 4.5 per cent when compared to Woolworths 2016 financial year. Food sales performed particularly well in the fourth quarter, increasing 7.2 per cent.
Woolworths supermarket sales growth was driven by customer transaction with an increase in the number of items per basket assisting the second half of the financial year.
Chief Executive Officer of the Woolworths Group, Brad Banducci, said Woolworths’ 2017 financial year was a year of rebuilding the foundations of the business.
“Encouragingly, we still see many opportunities to improve our business going forward and are focused on our five key priorities,” Banducci said.
“Our first priority is to build a customer and store-led culture and team. The key highlight in FY17 was the meaningful improvement in customer and team scores across the Woolworths Group. Over 116,000 employees provided feedback in our recent VOT survey with our sustainable engagement scores improving by five points over the last year to 82 per cent. The improvement in safety was another highlight with a 20 per cent improvement across Woolworths Group.”
Within the 2017 financial year, Woolworths opened six of its Metro city convenience stores and rebranded three small supermarkets, ending the year with 23 stores in the Metro format.
“Metro stores delivered comparable sales growth of 17 per cent during the year as we focused on meeting our in-store customers need for increasing convenience,” Woolworths reported.
Woolworths alcohol division, Endeavour Drinks, delivered sales growth of 4.3 per cent and Dan Murphy’s and BWS both delivering sales growth.
“Earnings before interest and tax grew at a slightly lower rate than sales as we continued to invest to retain our leading position in a low growth, competitive market,” Banducci said.
“Online remained a key area of focus during the year with Dan Murphy’s Online a highlight with growth of approximately 25 per cent.”
The Woolworths’ Big W department chain reported a loss before interest and tax of $150.5 million, a figured described as “extremely disappointing” but also as reflecting an investment in a turnaround plan.
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