Metcash Limited has today released its financial results for the year ending 30 April 2024, which it described as “strong results in [a] challenging macro environment”.

Overall Metcash group revenue increased 0.7 per cent to $15.9bn and 0.7 per cent to $18.2bn including charge-through. This saw group underlying EBIT decrease 0.9 per cent to $496.3m, underlying profit after tax decrease 8.2 per cent to $282.3m and statutory profit after tax decrease 0.7 per cent to $257.2m.

The Metcash said its liquor pillar continued to perform strongly underpinned by its diversified customer strategy and the ongoing preference for localised liquor offers. Earnings increased 4.9 per cent to $109.2m, which Metcash said reflects the strong trading performance, strategic buying and good cost management.

In its results statement to the ASX, Metcash said of its liquor pillar: “An increase in cost-of-living pressures continued to drive shopper focus on value, lower consumption and a decline in on-premise sales.

“Wholesale sales to retail and contract customers increased 2.2 per cent, resulting in further market share gains. Sales growth was underpinned by continuation of the increased preference for localised offers, including convenience, tailored ranges, competitive prices and local friendly service.

“Sales to on-premise customers declined 1.9 per cent in line with market trends, albeit some improvement was evident in the second half.

“The highest growth categories were again RTDs and beer, with cost-of-living pressures driving shopper preference for lower priced value choices. 

“Liquor EBIT increased 4.9 per cent to $109.2m, reflecting the contribution from the business’ strong trading performance, strategic buying and good cost management.”

Speaking about the overall results, Group CEO Doug Jones said: “I am pleased to report that the Company has delivered strong results for FY24, a year in which there was a further decline in the external environment. The results have been underpinned by our strategy, which is clearly working, and the disciplined execution of key initiatives.

“Operationally, all pillars performed well, in line with their strategic positioning, demonstrating resilience in the current softer market conditions.

“Our Liquor pillar continued to outperform the market, win share and deliver strong earnings growth.  Its diversified customer strategy and shopper preference for competitive localised offers were key drivers of the pleasing results. 

“Importantly, our retailers are continuing to invest in the network, and they remain resilient, healthy and confident. Their offer is well received by shoppers and customers, underpinned by improved quality, competitiveness and relevance. The Company’s cash performance was a standout for the year with operating cashflow growing 30 per cent on the prior corresponding year.  Our focus on disciplined execution with cash, costs and working capital initiatives is delivering significant tangible benefits.  

Metcash’s diversified growth platform, capabilities and the successful execution of its strategy have underpinned strong results in recent years, with earnings increasing 56 per cent (12 per cent CAGR) since FY20. The Company’s transformation into a more diversified, resilient and high-quality business continues to position it for ongoing success.”

Looking ahead, the Metcash statement said: “Total Group sales for the first seven weeks of FY25 increased 2.2 per cent, and were flat excluding Superior Foods which have been included in Metcash sales from the date of acquisition (3 June 2024).  

“Food (ex-tobacco) and Liquor have continued to perform strongly underpinned by their resilience and the continued successful execution of strategic initiatives. 

“Total Liquor sales increased 3.1 per cent, with continued growth in wholesale sales to IBA retail and contract customers. Sales to on-premise customers were flat.  

“The Company continues to have a strong focus on costs and working capital management and expects to deliver an additional $15m of annualised cost savings in FY25. 

“Metcash is well positioned with the plans, platform, capabilities and diverse business portfolio for future growth and strong returns through the cycle.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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