Metcash has reported its half-year results, which have shown sales growth across the business, with the group calling out a strong earnings performance for the liquor division.
Overall group revenue increased 1.3 per cent to $7.8bn, and while group underlying EBIT decreased by 3.4 per cent to $246.5m, statutory profit after tax increased 12.2 per cent to $141m.
Speaking about the result, Group CEO Doug Jones said: “The diversity and resilience of our portfolio of businesses are clearly evident in the first half results for FY24.
“Standouts for the half include continuation of sales growth on a very strong comparative period, and in more challenging conditions, as well as the outstanding cash performance. Sales growth was delivered in all pillars and in our independent retail networks, with the differentiated offer of the independent network and its compelling value proposition continuing to resonate with shoppers, builders and tradespeople.
“Our independent retail networks are healthy, and importantly they are continuing to reinvest to further lift their overall store quality and competitiveness.
“Our Food and Liquor pillars performed particularly well, delivering increased earnings on the strong comparative period.”
Metcash’s liquor division performed strongly with earnings increasing three per cent to $50.8m, which the group said was supported by continued strong demand from retail customers and improved leverage.
Total liquor sales (including charge-through) increased 2.4 per cent to $2.5bn, with continued growth in sales to independent retail customers despite the more challenging market.
Wholesale sales to retail customers increased 2.8 per cent, which Metcash said is “underpinned by a continuation of the increased preference for local shopping and the at-home consumption trend”.
Sales to on-premise customers declined 2.6 per cent in line with market trends.
The group reported: “Higher cost of living pressures led to more shoppers switching to lower priced value choices with the beer and RTD categories delivering the highest growth.”
Looking forward, Jones said: “Metcash’s continued transition to a bigger, stronger and more diversified Group provides the Company with an ideal base for future growth and strong returns through the cycle.
“We remain well positioned with solid fundamentals in all our pillars, healthy and supportive retail networks, leading market positions, a strong financial position and an extensive pipeline of strategic growth opportunities.”
Metcash also reported that in the first four weeks of the second-half of FY24, liquor sales were 1.5 per cent higher with growth in sales to retail and on-premise customers.