With Australians continuing to spend more time at home – working, learning, and entertaining – Bunnings and Officeworks have experienced strong double-digit growth in the first half of FY21 posting revenue increases of 24.4% and 23.7% respectively.

Kmart Group produced record earnings for the half up 44.3% to $502 million with Target’s profitability improving significantly.

These results helped contribute to group revenue of $17.8 billion for parent company, Wesfarmers, an increase of 16.6%, with net profit after tax (NPAT) surging 25.5% to $1.4 billion.

Wesfarmers managing director, Rob Scott said it was pleasing to report strong sales and earnings growth across retail businesses during a period of continued disruption and uncertainty.

“Bunnings, Kmart Group and Officeworks delivered strong trading results for the half, reflecting their ability to adapt to changing customer preferences and provide a safe environment for customers and team members. The retail divisions continued to invest in building deeper customer relationships and trust by providing greater value, service and convenience,” he said.

Bunnings saw strong growth across all trading regions and product categories – particularly garden and outdoor living – as people spent more time undertaking projects at home in light of travel restrictions.

Bunnings’ continued commitment to low prices, an expansion of online product ranges and upgrades to in-store product displays across kitchen and garage organisation supported the strong result, according to Scott.

Revenue for Kmart Group increased 9% to $5.4 billion for the half.

Kmart continued to invest in new in-store retail technology and development of data and digital capabilities with an increase in online penetration to 8.7% for the half. Target made enhancements to its product offer and continued to prioritise online growth with penetration increasing to 15.9%.

Good progress was made on the planned changes to Kmart and Target store networks with initial trading results from converted stores exceeding expectations.

“Sales and transaction volume uplifts from Target stores that have been converted to Kmart stores continue to be very encouraging. There were 19 stores converted during the half, including 12 large format Target stores and seven Target Country stores.”

There are plans to convert a further 19 large format Target stores 46 Target Country stores in the second half.

For Officeworks, earnings were up 22% to $100 million, driven by increased demand for technology and home office products.

However, growth was subdued by sales of lower margin technology products with Covid-19 restrictions adversely impacting higher margin categories such as office supplies and print, copy & create. Online penetration increased to 37.1% for the half.