Wesfarmers net profit up 44 per cent to over $1.5 billion

Wesfarmers has reported very successful results for the full FY08/09 period registering dramatic increases in net profit and revenue as Coles, Bunnings, Target, Kmart and Officeworks performed exceedingly well.

According to the results statement Wesfarmers Limited registered a net profit after tax of $1.535 billion for the 2008/2009 financial year, this represents a 44 per cent increase on the $1.063 billion in the previous year.

Managing director Richard Goyder, commented on how a profit increase was a welcome announcement especially in this tough economic climate.

“At a time of continuing concern about the impact of the economic crisis on employment in Australia, I am very pleased that we have continued to invest in all our businesses, in particular the retail operations, leading to the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the past year,” he said.

According to the report, operating revenue in the business was $51 billion up 52 per cent and there was strong cash generation with operating cash flow of $3 billion.

Coles in particular performed very well with operating revenue of $28.8 billion and underlying EBIT of $831 million for the year.

Of particular note was the impressive fourth quarter growth of 7.3 per cent, which was attributed to increased customer numbers and basket growth.

On the hardware side of the business, Bunnings was also a star performer with EBIT up 11.9 per cent on the previous year to $659 million, which was driven by a good execution of merchandising and operational strategies.

Cash sales growth of 13 per cent was also achieved with underlying store-on-store cash sales increasing by 10.1 per cent.

EBIT for the year at Target was $357 million, operating revenue of $3.8 billion was also driven through comparable store sales growth of 4.2 per cent.

Operating revenue for Officeworks was also pleasing for the company, registering $1.3 billion for the year. It also recorded sales growth of 7.7 per cent, second half growth of 11.1 per cent and EBIT of $65 million.

Finally Kmart also showed early signs of progress after the introduction of new leadership and strategies in the second half of the year.

The retailer achieved operating revenue of $4 billion for the year and generated underlying EBIT of $109 million. Comparable store growth for the year was flat.

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