The Woolworths Group’s half-year results reveal a balanced financial performance compared to the COVID-impacted results of 2021-22.
Group sales were up four per cent to 33.2 billion overall, while EBIT was up 18.4 per cent, driven by a 2.5 per cent increase in Australian Food.
A standout performer was Metro Food Stores, with a strong recovery post-COVID, with sales up 17.4 per cent and two new stores joining the network as customer mobility increased.
Brad Banducci, Woolworth Group CEO, said a focus on customer care was a highlight, with Woolworths named Most Trusted Brand by Roy Morgan for the third year in a row and Australia’s Most Valuable Brand by Brand Finance.
“Our first half result benefitted from a focus on improving our customer shopping experience, restoring our operating rhythm, the non-recurrence of material COVID costs in the prior year and strong seasonal trading.
“Despite continued supply chain challenges during the half, most customer metrics improved, with Customer Care a highlight and Group VOC NPS increasing on Q1 and the prior year,” he said.
Woolworths Food Retail sales increased by 2.4 per cent, driven by Woolworths Supermarkets store-originated sales growth of 3.2 per cent, despite a decline in e-commerce sales of 7.5 per cent.
“While our primary focus during the half was on returning to a stable operating rhythm, we continued to make good progress on our strategic agenda.
“We completed the acquisition of Shopper Media and MyDeal during the half, and in December, we announced the acquisition of an equity interest in Petspiration Group, one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading specialty pet businesses,” said Banducci.
The half-yearly report predicted a challenging economic outlook over the next six to 12 months but has promised to continue delivering affordable prices for customers to ease cost of living pressures.