By Ian Neubauer

Woolworths plans to grow its Dan Murphy’s banner group by 50 per cent within the next three years on the back of continually strong results across its liquor portfolio.

The retail giant opened nine new Dan Murphy’s stores in the half year, bringing the current number of stores to 97. It plans to open another seven stores in the second half and bring the total number of stores to 150 over the next three years.

“I am confident that we are well positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities as they arise and meet future challenges,” said Woolworths CEO, Michael Luscombe.

“We continue to refine and improve all our brands to meet customer expectations that change over time and to seek new opportunities to continue the positive momentum in our business.”

The announcement piggybacked the posting of Woolworths’ half-year results, which saw it deliver $26 billion in sales over the period — $2.8 billion derived from its 1129 liquor outlets.

Woolworths attributed its strong performance in liquor to the continual expansion of in-house control labels and brands, in particular a low-carb beer called Platinum Blonde; and the transformation of its supply chain, which has improved productivity and enabled higher levels of ‘in stock’ performance.

But Woolworths’ performance in the pub and club sector was markedly less impressive, with sales in the first half increasing by only 1 per cent. It said gaming revenue from its 276 properties had began to pick up as the market begins to adapt to smoking bans.

Woolworths shares were trading at $26.18 at 2:00pm today (Mar 2) compared to $27.93 seven days ago.


The Shout Team

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

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