Metcash has reported its full year results for the financial year ended 30 April 2023, which highlights another record year of sales and earnings, to continue its strong growth and maintain an “outstanding” three-year performance.
The group said that all its pillars performed well, supported by ongoing strong demand, with underlying demand remaining strong in Liquor, but Metcash reported that “there has been a noticeable shift to more ‘value’ options, particularly in on-premise sales”.
Total Liquor sales increased 8.3 per cent on a normalised basis to $5.1bn, with continued growth in sales to retail and on-premise customers. The group said the retail network performed well with the at-home consumption trend continuing. Cost of living pressures were noticed in the fourth quarter with the rate of growth tapering and some consumers switching to lower priced value choices.
Sales in owned and exclusive brands increase 17 per cent in the year.
Sales to on-premise customers increased a significant 31.3 per cent reflecting expansion of the customer base through the successful execution of the on-premise growth strategy, as well as the impact of cycling COVID lockdowns in the prior financial year.
Liquor EBIT increased 8.9 per cent to $104.1m on a normalised basis reflecting the contribution from the strong trading performance, partly offset by additional fuel, freight and labour costs.
Group CEO, Doug Jones said: “It has been another record year for Metcash, and one that represents continued progress on the outstanding results in the prior two years.
“Both sales and earnings were at record levels while facing additional challenges associated with the rapid increase in interest rates and cost of living, particularly towards the end of the year.
“Our focus on further improving the competitiveness of our independent retail networks, as well as the success of our strategic acquisitions, particularly Total Tools, have been key factors in the strong performance.
Three-year growth rates have been outstanding, with earnings per share up ~46 per cent. This helped us return ~$800m to shareholders, which included an 80 per cent increase in dividends over the period.”
He added: “Our retail networks in Food, Hardware and Liquor all continued to perform well, and importantly, they are healthy, confident and continuing to reinvest.
“There are signs that the rapid increase in interest rates and cost of living are starting to impact consumer confidence and the behaviour of some shoppers. We continue to focus on ensuring our retailers remain competitive, with options that provide the right value for shoppers.”
Looking ahead, Jones said: “Going forward, the fundamentals for our businesses remain sound, and we are well positioned to continue delivering growth and superior returns for shareholders through the cycle.
“Metcash is now much larger, more diversified and stronger than it was three years ago, and our management teams and retail networks are experienced at managing well through challenges, including changes in the external environment.
“Importantly, we have healthy, supportive and growing retail networks. Our financial position is strong and we have an experienced management team to continue progressing our growth plans.”