By James Atkinson

Metcash today released details of a transformation plan that includes initiatives aimed at converting more independent retailers to its liquor, hardware and automotive banners.

Metcash CEO Ian Morrice said the transformation plan focused on four strategic priorities that when implemented, would underpin long term sustainable growth for Metcash and independent retailers. These included: 

• Transforming Metcash Food & Grocery (MFG), known as Project Diamond; 
• Driving consolidation and sustainable network growth; 
• Further enhancing its supply chain; and 
• Enabling successful independents. 

Morrice said better support will be provided to independent retailers by expanding Metcash's digital platform and providing enhanced analytics and insights capabilities. 

"In addition we will provide programs through a Retail Academy, part of attracting and training new retailers to the independent network; developing existing retailers’ skills and capabilities and provide greater value-adding services to members."

Also today, Metcash announced an update to its 2014 full year guidance. 

The company said the implementation of the abovementioned transformation plan had begun to impact the current year's earnings, and the company's January and February results were also below management's forecasts. 

"Management now expects a decline in underlying earnings per share (EPS) in the range of 13 to 15 per cent (which includes approximately three per cent of equity issuance dilution) for FY14," the company said.

The Shout Team

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