Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said: “We are pleased with the improvement in sales momentum across the Group in Q3 with Australian Food comparable sales growth of 4.2% (Easter-adjusted) a particular highlight, after a challenging first half. While we had positive transaction and item growth, sales also benefitted from lower deflation than recent periods and settled weather. Customer scores remained high but were marginally lower than the prior year with plans in place to address areas of underperformance. Our ‘Simpler for Stores’ productivity program continues to build momentum and there are a number of initiatives underway to address higher than forecast stockloss.
“After slower sales growth in H19, Endeavour Drinks’ sales momentum improved in Q3 with Easter-adjusted comparable growth of 5.9%. At H19 we noted that the unsettled weather had negatively impacted sales across all of our businesses which was most pronounced in Endeavour Drinks. More settled weather across key trading states and the timing of New Year’s Eve supported sales in Q3. We still expect Endeavour Drinks’ EBIT for F19 to be below the prior year as we invest in improving our range, service and convenience for our customers.
“As foreshadowed on 1 April, BIG W sales growth has been strong with Easter-adjusted comparable sales growth of 7.4%. The challenge for BIG W remains converting strong sales growth into improved profit and we continue to expect a loss before interest and tax of $80-$100 million in F19. New Zealand Food delivered solid Easter-adjusted comparable growth of 3.8% and Hotels also improved on Q2’19 growing by 2.7%.
“We are progressing our key strategic priorities with our focus now moving to plans for F20 to deliver for our customers, team members and shareholders. Our F19 results announcement is currently scheduled for 29 August 2019 and F19 will be a 53-week year.”
Read the full result here.