Metcash earnings up as Australians choose to shop local 

Wholesale distributor Metcash, owner of IGA, has announced group revenue is up 8.2 per cent in first-half sales as Australians increasingly shop local. 

Doug Jones, Group CEO at Metcash, said the return to shopping locally is a result of increased competitiveness and a unique product offering.

“The increased preference for local neighbourhood shopping continues to be seen in our strong sales performance, with shoppers recognising and enjoying the increased competitiveness, differentiated offer and relevance of our network of independent stores.

“Feedback from our retailers is that many shoppers have now changed their shopping habits to include local grocery, liquor and hardware stores,” he said. 

Supermarket sales increased 2 per cent, excluding tobacco, while like-for-like sales across the IGA network increased 0.5 per cent, with convenience sales also increasing as food service demand and consumer activity normalised.

“Our independent retail networks performed well. Overall network health continued to strengthen, and retailers are operating with a high level of confidence and reinvesting to further improve the quality of their stores and offer,” said Jones.

Despite higher inflation, supply chain challenges and the effects of extensive lockdowns in 2021, the company has experienced exceptional three-year growth rates compared to pre-COVID levels, with EBIT up 10.3 per cent to $255.1 million. 

“It has been another pleasing half for Metcash with strong sales and earnings growth in the face of higher inflation and while cycling the impact of extensive lockdowns in [the first half of 2022].

“Importantly, the business continued to build on its record performances post the onset of COVID, achieving exceptional growth over the past three years in all pillars,” said Jones. 

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