Woolworths Limited chief executive officer, Grant O’Brien this week announced the company’s results for the 14 weeks to 5 October 2014 (first quarter FY15).
Announcing sales of $16.2 billion – an increase of 3.0% on the previous year (or 4.1% excluding petrol) – Mr O’Brien said, “Australian Food and Liquor delivered sales growth of 3.9% on the previous year. Following a pleasing July result, trading was softer in August and September with growth impacted by differences in the timing of promotional activities compared to the prior year and the cycling of higher fuel discount activity.”
Woolworths retained its focus on delivering lower prices and launched the ‘Cheap Cheap’ campaign at the end of the quarter, reduced prices of staple products included beef mince and Woolworths reduced the price of white bread to 85 cents – a move quickly followed by Coles.
Reduced fuel discount activity following an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) saw petrol sales decrease 4.5% on the previous year.
“While first quarter sales were lower than expected, we are confident that our trading plans will improve momentum in the second quarter which includes the key Christmas period”, Mr O’Brien said.