Consumer electronics still growing strongly for Woolworths

By Patrick Avenell

Woolworths Limited has reported strong growth in its consumer electronics division, which recorded sales over $400 million for the first quarter of FY09. This division includes the Dick Smith-branded stores owned by the company.

In his quarterly sales report to the ASX for the 14 week period ending 5 October 2008, Woolworths managing director and CEO Michael Luscombe reported an overall growth in sales compared to the same period last year.

“This is a good start to the financial year,” wrote Luscombe. “Particularly pleasing is the continued momentum in our Australian operations, with an overall improvement in comparable sales growth.”

Woolworths total interest in consumer electronics grew by 11.8 per cent year on year, with total sales increasing from $365 million for Q1 FY08 to $408 million for the first quarter of this current financial year. In Australia and New Zealand only, sales grew from $347 million to $368 million, a $21 million increase – or 6.1 per cent.

In his notice to the ASX, Luscombe wrote specifically about the consumer electronics division.

“Consumer electronics (in Australia and New Zealand) has continued to enjoy solid growth with sales for the quarter increasing 6.1%. Comparable store sales increased by 4.9%…during the quarter, an improvement on the 3.8% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008, reflecting an improved result from our Australian operations,” wrote Luscombe.

Woolworths also operates 22 retail stores in India through a business venture with TATA. These stores, which operate under the Croma brand, experienced 122% growth over the comparable 14-week periods.

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