By Claire Reilly
Following yesterday’s sales results release by rival company Wesfarmers, Woolworths has today announced its half-yearly sales for the 6 months ended 30 December 2012, posting a $1.4 billion increase for the period (an increase of 4.8 per cent on the previous year).
Sales at Big W were up 3.6 per cent to $2.45 billion, the supermarket division was up 3.7 per cent to $26.19 billion and home improvement sales (across both the Masters and Danks chains of stores, a total of 45 shopfronts) were up 54.6 per cent to $637 million, albeit off a low base. (As a comparison, Bunnings sales were $4.01 billion for the same period).
Sales for the discontinued Australian consumer electronics division were $436 million for the period, although Woolworths stipulated that the FY2013 first half sales and those for 2012 (listed as $731 million) “are not comparable periods in light of completion of the divestment of the consumer electronics businesses in Australia, New Zealand and India during the second quarter of the 2013 financial year”.
The Indian division of the business was sold to Infiniti Retail Limited in October 2012, while the sale of the Australian and New Zealand Dick Smith businesses was completed in November 2012.
Speaking about the results of the operational branches of the business was Woolworths Limited CEO, Grant O’Brien.
“This solid first half result is a reflection of the sharpened focus on our core businesses and better meeting our 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.
“Big W delivered a pleasing result for the first half…[and] a strong Christmas campaign assisted momentum in a challenging second quarter.
“Our home improvement business continues to grow with 25 Masters stores now trading, of which 10 opened during the half. The launch of our ‘I made it with Masters’ marketing campaign has received a positive reception in all markets. We now have Masters stores trading in all mainland Australian states and the ACT and we continue to be pleased by the performance of this business.”
O’Brien also reported positive results for Woolworths Limited’s online business, with online sales increasing 40 per cent for the half year.