Big W sales improve, remains a work-in-progress

Focus on translating sales to profit.

Woolworths Group has reported a 2.3% sales increase for the half year ended 30 December 2018, with the Big W business recording sales growth of 2.7% and comparable sales growth of 3.8% driven by online and lower margin categories such as toys and leisure.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said, “It was a challenging half across all of our business with subdued customer demand and volatile weather in the second quarter. Group sales from continuing operations increased by 2.3% and EBIT from continuing operations increased by 1% with a strong underlying customer shift to online during the half.”

Big W sales for the half year reached $2.1 billion, with comparable sales growth of 5% in Q2. The Group still expects losses for FY19 to be below FY18 of $110 million, subject to market conditions.

“Big W remains focused on delivering a positive customer experience in-store and online. Good progress has been made in Big W’s digital offer, rollout of Customer First ranging, more competitive pricing and improving availability for customers.

“With Big W sales having stabilised and customer metric improving, we are now focused on converting sales into profit and are currently reviewing the Big W store and DC network. Despite the improvement in sales momentum, Big W remains a work-in-progress.”

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