29 Aug 2013

Woolworths' annual profit rises 24%

7:05 am on 29 August 2013

Woolworths' annual net profit has jumped nearly a quarter, with a strong performance from its New Zealand arm, despite challenging conditions.

The company, which owns the Countdown supermarkets, said annual net profit rose 24% to $A2.25 billion for the 12 months to the end of June.

Sales at Woolworths' New Zealand arm, Progressive Enterprises, rose more than 4% to $NZ5.7 billion.

New Zealand operations managing director Dave Chambers said the company has passed on lower wholesale prices for goods, particularly butter, milk and cheese.

Within that result, the company achieved sustained market share growth across the country, as well as growing customer numbers and the amount of items sold to those customers.

Mr Chambers said there was 0.2% food inflation which was evidence that it passed on cost savings to customers in terms of better prices.

He said other evidence of that was the annual Consumer New Zealand price survey which put Countdown as the cheapest supermarket in Wellington and in Auckland Countdown was $1 behind the cheapest supermarket on that basket of goods.

Woolworth's sold Dick Smith Electronics in New Zealand and Australia in November last year, and has recently acquired the Australasian EziBuy business for $350 million.