Woolworths first-half profit up 38pc

Woolworths’ first-half profit has risen by 38 per cent to $969m and the supermarket giant has also recorded a 3.8 per cent increase in sales.

The company also announced a dividend per share of 43c, up 26.5 per cent.

“At the end of FY17, we said that we were moving from turnaround to transformation. In the current half we have seen some early signs of this transformation with good progress on a number of strategic initiatives and pleasing sales growth from all of our businesses. We remain committed to our focus on building a customer and store-led culture and team with a highlight in the half being the continued improvement in customer, team and supplier advocacy scores across the Woolworths Group,” said Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO.

“In Australian Food, despite beginning to cycle some more challenging prior year numbers, sales increased by 5.1% with a strong second quarter (comparables sales: +5.0%). EBIT increased by 11.1% due to strong sales and continued improvement in stock loss despite investment in key strategic initiatives such as digital, incremental team training and IT as well as higher depreciation costs.”