Metcash has reported a three per cent increase in profit to $128.8 million, over the first half of the 2022 financial year.

Earnings also enjoyed a significant jump, increasing 13.9 per cent to $231.2 million, which reflected the strong sales performance and improved leverage as well as the success of Metcash’s recent strategic acquisitions.

Jeff Adams, Group CEO, said the shift in consumer behaviour and improved competitiveness of its retail networks supported by the success of its MFuture Program benefitted all pillars of the business.

“In Metcash, significant growth in underlying earnings was delivered through the strong trading performance and material contribution from strategic acquisitions, particularly Total Tools. Total Tools is proving to be a terrific acquisition and we remain excited about the further growth opportunities it provides.”

Substantial growth was seen through the IGA network, up 18.8 per cent, which benefitted from the shift in consumer behaviour.

The IGA Network is also continuing to accelerate the rollout of its new eCommerce IGA Shop Online platform, which is currently in roughly 100 stores, with another 300 stores signed up and rapid expansion expected.

Adams said the strength of its independent retail network continues to improve.

“Retailers remain encouraged about the future and are investing in new stores and refreshes that further improve the quality of the network.

“Importantly, the sales momentum seen in recent periods has continued into the second half with sales growth recorded in all Pillars in the first five weeks of the half. We are also expecting our Food and Liquor pillars to benefit from a strong Christmas/New Year trading period and their extensive regional presence.”

The strong group performance and financial position, coupled with an increase in Metcash’s target dividend payout saw a significant lift in the interim dividend, which is up 31 per cent to 10.5 cents per share.

“We remain well placed to continue investing in our growth plans under MFuture focused on further improving the competitiveness of our independent retailers,” said Adams.

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