AUS: "Sharpened focus" boosts Woolworths H1
- Net profit up 19.4%
- EBIT climbs 6.1%
- Net sales grow 4.8%
Woolworths Ltd has booked an increase in first-half profits, boosted by what the Australian retailer said was a "sharpened focus" on its core businesses.
In the 12 weeks ended 30 December, net profit climbed 19.4% to A$966.9m (US$990m), the retailer reported today (28 February). EBIT from continuing operations was up 6.1% to A$1.93bn.
Woolworths CEO Grant O'Brien said the increase was a reflection of the "sharpened focus on our core businesses".
"We have grown both sales and profits by pursuing a customer led strategy," he said.
Woolworths reported its first-half sales earlier this month. Net sales grew 4.8% to A$30bn. Comparable-store sales in Australia increased 2.7%.
FIRST HALF PROFIT REPORT AND DIVIDEND ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 27 WEEKS ENDED 30 DECEMBER 2012
28 February 2013
Net Profit After Tax From Continuing Operations Before Significant Items1 up 5.5% to $1,247.2 million
Net Profit After Tax up 19.4% to $1,154.8 million Fully Franked Dividend of 62 Cents Per Share up 5.1%
Sustainable, profitable growth as strategic initiatives start to deliver results
- Sales from continuing operations of $30.0 billion, up 4.8%
- Trading EBIT from continuing operations up 7.0% before significant items1, Central Overheads and the investment in Home Improvement
- EBIT from continuing operations before significant items1 up 6.1% to $1,934.7 million (total EBIT up 19.1%)
- Net profit after tax from continuing operations before significant items1 up 5.5% and 4.2% increase in EPS from continuing operations before significant items1 to 101.1 cents
- 19.4% increase in net profit after tax and 17.9% increase in EPS to 93.6 cents
- Over $2.0 billion2 returned to shareholders via dividends and the in-specie distribution
Woolworths Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Grant O’Brien, said: “This result is a reflection of the sharpened focus on our core businesses. We have grown both sales and profits by pursuing a customer led strategy.
“We report a pleasing increase in net profit after tax from continuing operations before significant items1 of 5.5%. Growth in trading EBIT from continuing operations of 7.0% before significant items1, Central Overheads and the investment in Home Improvement reflects the good momentum generated across our businesses during the first half of the financial year.
“Despite ongoing challenging retail conditions as well as the transformational path our business is pursuing, growth in profitability in our core businesses was strong. Our strategic initiatives, which are providing a platform for the future success of Woolworths, continue to generate enhanced returns for our shareholders whilst improving the shopping experience of our customers.
“We are closer to our customers than ever before and have a deep understanding of their needs and drivers. This will help us to continue to achieve the win/win outcome for customers, suppliers and shareholders of lowering prices, improving quality and delivering sustainable profit growth."
Woolworths Limited Chairman, Ralph Waters, commented: “Supported by a solid first half trading result, shareholders will benefit from a 5.1% increase in the fully franked interim dividend per share to 62 cents ($0.8 billion), up from 59 cents last year. This is in addition to the return of $0.5 billion to shareholders on establishment of the SCA Property Group during the half. We continue to invest in the future success of our business with good progress being made on our strategic initiatives.
“I am tremendously proud to have been appointed Chairman of this great Company and believe the business is well placed to continue to reward both our customers and shareholders over the coming years."
Note: This announcement contains certain non-IFRS measures that Woolworths believes are relevant and appropriate to understanding its business. Refer to Appendix Two for further information.
Original source: Woolworths Ltd
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