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Metcash shares hit highest level

Metcash shares have peaked at their highest level in more than three and a half years.

A 24 per cent rise in first-half profit, was seen across the food, liquor and hardware divisions.

Metcash’s food division, had a 5.8 per cent lift pre-tax earnings, compared with 8.1 per cent fall in earnings from the same period last year.

Outgoing chief executive Ian Morrice said the group was working through a “Working Smarter” cost savings program over a period of three years.

“The savings achieved have been a key factor in supermarkets maintaining its earnings, despite the significant headwinds that include a continuing high level of deflation,” he said.

Inside FMCG said: “The group made a net profit of $92.9 million in the half, up 24 per cent on the prior corresponding period.”

Following the acquisition of Home Timber & Hardware from Woolworths in 2016, group sales revenue rose to 7.1 billion.

Mr Morrice said it had been a great acquisition that allowed the company to deliver better outcomes for the company and for independent hardware retailers and consumers.

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