Woolworths releases first-quarter results

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Woolworths Group has announced that the company grew 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of financial year 2017.

The group’s Australian food division sales grew 1.7 per cent from $9.16 billion to $9.32 billion and comparable sales growth was 0.7 per cent compared with the corresponding period in FY16. Average prices, excluding tobacco, fell 2.8 per cent across the division during the time frame. Customer metrics for the food arm – voice of the customer – improved from 69 per cent satisfaction to 76 per cent satisfaction compared with last year.

Petrol sales for the quarter were $1.2 billion. This was an 11 per cent decrease from the previous year, due to a 13.9 per cent reduction in average fuel prices to 113.2¢ per litre, compared with 131.5¢ per litre in 2016. Merchandise sales grew by 5.4 per cent in the quarter.

Sales for the group’s liquor retailing business, Endeavour Drinks Group, increased to $2 billion, representing 3.8 per cent growth compared with FY16.

“We made good progress during the quarter on our five key priorities and are seeing far more consistency in our trading performance in Australian food,” Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci, said. “Customers continue to respond to the improvements we’re making, with Australian food delivering its first positive comparable sales growth since Q2 2015, despite ongoing material price deflation.

“While we’re pleased with our progress, there remains much more to do. Our trading performance over the key Christmas trading period is crucial to the financial performance of the Woolworths Group in FY17.”