Woolworths has recorded a full-year profit of $1.5 billion, a great turnaround from last year’s $1.23 billion loss.
Woolworths also posted a 3.6 per cent lift in comparable sales to $55.5 billion, compared with last year’s zero per cent. The retail giant’s food sales also rose by 4.5 per cent over the year, thanks to increasing discounting.
“Customer price perception is beginning to improve but remains a major opportunity and reflects our focus on improving customers’ trust in our prices through lowering shelf prices, with approximately 3,500 products on our Low Price Always or Price Dropped programs at the end of the year,” the company said.
Woolworths appeared to have outpaced Coles, which declared an increase of 2 per cent in food and liquor sales and 1 per cent in comparable sales.
“We are pleased with our progress over the last 12 months, particularly in the second half,” said Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci.
“The key highlight in FY17 was the meaningful improvement in customer and team scores across the Woolworths Group.”
However, Woolworths’ department store chain Big W reported less satisfying results with pre-tax and interest loss of $150.5 million.
“Financial year 2018 will continue to be a year of investment for Big W and we do not expect a reduction in losses as we continue to invest to improve the customer shopping experience, including re-establishing price trust,” Banducci said in the report.
The company increased its full-year dividend by 9.1 per cent to 84 cents per share.