Woolworths Group delivers mixed half-year results

Woolworths Group has announced its financial results for the half-year ended 31 December 2023, reporting group sales revenue of $34.6 billion, up 4.4 per cent, and group EBIT of $1,292 million, up 3.3 per cent.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci commented on the financial results, saying: “The Group’s first half F24 result was mixed and reflects solid results from Australian Food and Australian B2B somewhat offset by the impacts of a very challenging trading environment on New Zealand Big W.”

In the performance review, Banducci detailed a total sales increase of 5.4 per cent to $25.9 billion and an EBIT increase of 9.9 per cent for Australian Food, which was boosted by strong eCom growth and items returning to modest growth.

Strong results from Australian B2B saw sales for the half increase by 2.8 per cent, while EBIT increased 45.7 per cent when compared with the previous year.

Speaking about inflation in the Group’s food businesses, which continued to moderate during the half-year as favourable conditions in fruit and vegetables and meat led to pride reductions in these categories, Banducci said: “Across the Group, we helped our customers to spend less through our Low Price and seasonal Prices Dropped programs, personalised member Rewards, affordable Own brands, digital tools and Weekly Specials.

“Encouragingly, customer scores have held up with Group VOC NPS of 50, down one point on the prior year. Customer care and shelf availability were the highlights, however, our customers’ concerns about the cost-of-living continues to impact our Value for Money scores which remains our key focus for H2,” he added.

With customer advocacy stable, the financial results reported strong growth in eCom and digital engagement, with Group sales increasing 4.4 per cent, and around 40 per cent of that sales growth attributed to eCom which increased 17.8 per cent.

The half year results saw WooliesX sales increase 27.5 per cent as the group continued to provide more convenient options for customers with Direct to boot and Same Day propositions driving online growth.

“Improvement in fulfilment capabilities led to B2C Same Day fulfilment mix reaching 43 per cent in Q2, with 85 per cent of orders fulfilled within 24 hours of order placement.”

Cartology revenue increased 14.6 per cent in H1 supported by growth in sponsored search through Cartology Promoted Products. WooliesX H1 F24 DAP & EBIT increased 132.3 per cent to $168 million, with the DAP & EBIT margin increasing by 186 bps to 4.1 per cent driving approximately two-thirds of Australian Food EBIT growth.

The half-yearly report predicts that cost-of-living pressures will remain a key issue for customers, with Woolworths Group focused on helping customers to spend less when they shop with the Group.

“We also need to continue to invest in our teams and our platforms to strengthen the Group and deliver long-term sustainable outcomes for all our key stakeholders,” Banducci added. “As always, I would like to thank our hard-working team for their commitment and focus to building a better Group.”

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