By Andrew Starke

Grocery wholesaler Metcash has reported a 6.1 percent increase in profit with its liquor business amongst the highlights although it expects market conditions to remain challenging for the rest of 2011.

The group yesterday (June 7) reported that its profit after tax grew from $227.6 million to $241.4 million for the year to April 30, 2011.

Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer said given the challenging trading conditions, the company was pleased with the results.

“Metcash’s result was achieved through the steady performance and resilience of its independent retailer customers. This has seen Metcash and its customers continuing to invest in strengthening their operations and as a result maintaining grocery market share,” he said.

“All divisions within the Group remain focused on improving operational efficiency in the prevailing low inflationary environment and we continue our substantial investment in modernising the independent sector’s support structures and supply chain.”

Liquor wholesaling arm Australian Liquor Marketer’s (ALM) sales were $2.3 billion and earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) were $30.1 million.

The company claimed a strong sales performance, reporting that core ‘like for like’ EBITA rose 20.4 percent on ‘like for like’ sales growth of 2.7 percent, in a liquor market that contracted by just over 4 percent.

The local market has been characterised by aggressive discounting and tobacco excise rise affecting liquor spend

Sales through Independent Brands Australia remained strong with IGA Liquor up 9 percent.

‘On-premise’ sales to establishments such as restaurants and hotels grew as ALM’s strategy to win back business gained traction.

Beer volumes were up through IBA and Liquor Alliance, partially offsetting ALH volume loss

Banner group Cellarbrations reported static volume growth and sales down two percent.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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