‘The first half was below our financial expectations’.
‘The first half was below our financial expectations’.

Woolworths ‘below our financial expectations’

WOOLWORTHS admits its first half of the financial year was below expectations with the supermarket giant's food sales slipping behind its major rival, blaming the plastic bag ban and the success of Coles' Little Shop campaign.

The company's profit edged 1 per cent higher to $979 million, while comparable Australian food sales in the 27 weeks to December 30 grew 2.3 per cent, below the 3.0 per cent reported a day earlier by Coles.

Woolworths cited a weaker-than-expected first quarter when sales growth slowed due to its removal of single use plastic bags and Coles' Little Shop promotion to lure families.

Woolworths says sales slowed because of the plastic bag ban.
Woolworths says sales slowed because of the plastic bag ban.

Chief executive Brad Banducci said sales growth improved to 2.7 per cent in the second quarter and had lifted again over the first seven weeks of the second half.

"While the first half was below our financial expectations, we made progress in a number of important areas and are confident that if we remain focused on our key priorities we will continue to transform our business for the benefit of all of our stakeholders", Mr Banducci said.

Total sales grew 2.3 per cent to $30.59 billion, and Woolworths raised its interim dividend 2.0 cents to 45 cents.

Woolworths has lifted first-half profit one per cent to $979 million.

The supermarket giant says comparable Australian food sales in the 27 weeks to December 30 grew 2.3 per cent, compared with the 3.0 per cent reported this week by fierce rival Coles.

Total sales grew 2.3 per cent to $30.59 billion, and Woolworths raised its interim dividend 2.0 cents to 45 cents.



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