By Andrew Starke

Australia’s biggest retailer has warned of challenging times ahead as Woolworths reported a slight sales increase of 4.7 per cent for the 2011 financial year.

For the full year, overall sales rose to $54.1 billion from $51.7 billion for the 12 months before with the company's supermarket division also reflecting this small gain.

Sales for this division over the 2011 financial year rose 4.6 per cent to $46.3 billion.

“This result has been achieved in a very challenging year for retail which saw continuing deflationary effects, the disruption caused by natural disasters, increased consumer caution and higher domestic savings rates,” said Woolworths Limited CEO, Michael Luscombe.

”This outcome reflects our ability to adapt and perform in all economic environments.”

Australian food and liquor sales for the year were $36.2 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion or 4.3 percent over last year.

Total liquor sales for the year were $5.9 billion3, up from $5.6 billion in financial year 2010.

”We opened 21 new Australian Supermarkets during the year, within our targeted range of 15 to 25, with seven opening in the fourth quarter of 2011, bringing total Australian Supermarkets to 840 stores,” said Luscombe.

”We also opened 19 new Dan Murphy’s stores during the year taking the total number of stores to 140.”

Pub sector sales went reasonably well for Woolworths with $1.2 billion for the year representing an increase of 4.6 percent.

According to the company, this result reflects a continued focus on improving its food and entertainment offering in venues and the passing of the anniversary of some regulatory changes in Victoria.

Comparable gaming sales for the year increased 3.1 percent.

A further two properties were added to the portfolio and four were closed during the year (including one temporarily closed for renovation), taking total venues to 282.

Woolworths shares rose in morning trading (July 20) to a high of $27.49, up on earlier this week but in much the same range as seven days ago.  

The Shout Team

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

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting. They open 19 new Dan Murphys store and 21 new supermarkets across Australia and don’t show an increase or a decrease in profit only sales?

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