Woolworths Group releases results for a challenging yet strong quarter

Customer and brand metrics remain strong for the Woolworths Group, despite a challenging quarter.

The group released its first quarter sales results for the 2019 financial year.

The results showed Australian Food sales growth of 1.9 per cent – comparable sales were +1.8 per cent due to impact of removal of single-use plastic bags and a competitor continuity program.

However, there was improved momentum in September and into October.

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The group saw an online growth of 28 per cent and Woolworths Online was awarded the Canstar Blue 2018 award for most satisfied customers.

Endeavour Drinks sales saw a growth of 3 per cent – with a comparable growth of 1.7 per cent in a low growth market.

Sales growth in New Zealand Food was 2.6 per cent with a comparable growth of 4.0 per cent.

The report also shows progress on environment and community aspects, with more than 600 million fewer single-use plastic bags, more than $7.5 million raised for drought relief, 280 payments to drought-affected dairy farmers and 500 Junior Landcare Grants.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said while it was a more challenging quarter for sales, customer and brand metrics were strong across the Group, especially in Australian Food.

“In Australian Food, comparable sales momentum improved materially in September compared to August leading to growth of 1.8 per cent for the quarter with market share by the end of the quarter broadly returning to Q4’18 levels.

“In WooliesX, online sales increased 26 per cent with pick up remaining a key driver. Woolworths Rewards members increased to 11.1 million. Online sales across the Group increased by 28 per cent with New Zealand Food and BIG W particularly strong,” said Banducci.

“Comparable sales growth for Endeavour Drinks and ALH Hotels was lower than recent trend due to a low growth drinks market and ALH Hotels cycling strong events in the prior year while BIG W’s and New Zealand Food’s comparable sales growth are both a result of ongoing investment.

“All businesses are now focused on delivering an exceptional Christmas experience for our customers,” said Banducci.