close
MENU
2 mins to read

Australia's Wesfarmers says first-half result partly lifted by Bunnings

Bunnings, the dominant player in Australia, now has 53 stores and trade centres in New Zealand compared to 301 in Australia

Staff Reporter
Wed, 15 Feb 2017

ASX-listed conglomerate Wesfarmers today reported strong earnings growth in the first half, bolstered by results in Bunnings Australia and New Zealand, Kmart and Officeworks.

The company reported a net profit of $A1.58 billion in the six months to December 31, up 13% on the year. Operating revenue was $A34.9 billion, up 4.3% on the year. It announced an interim dividend of $A1.03 per share, also a 13% increase on the year.

"Total retail earnings were in line with the previous corresponding period, with very strong results reported for Bunnings Australia and New Zealand (BANZ), Kmart and Officeworks," managing director Richard Goyder said. "The continued momentum in these businesses was particularly pleasing and reflects the strong market positions they have each established."

BANZ reported earnings growth of 9.8% to $A770 million with revenue growth of 8.3%. It did not break down specific figures for New Zealand.

Mr Goyder said the strong result included store-on-store sales growth of 6.5% and a 317 basis point improvement in return on capital to 39%. Bunnings, the dominant player in Australia, now has 53 stores and trade centres in New Zealand compared to 301 in Australia. Nine new stores opened between June and December and two were closed. A further 11 are under construction.

New Zealand's construction sector is experiencing a boom as demand for building supplies was underpinned by the Canterbury rebuild for several years and is now being supported by the multi-billion dollar pipeline of work needed to address the housing shortage in Auckland.

Wesfarmers' Kmart business also fared well, with earnings up 16% to $A371 million on revenue growth of 8.9%. New Zealand has 19 of the company's 214 Kmart stores.

The company said it has commenced a strategic review of its Officeworks division which could include an initial public offering.

"Officeworks is well positioned for future growth with a strong competitive position and ongoing initiatives to grow its addressable market," said Mr Goyder. He noted, however, the business will be retained if divestment options do not meet Wesfarmers' valuation hurdles.

The earnings report comes on the heels of news that Mr Goyder will step down in late 2017. He will be succeeded by Rob Scott, who heads the company's industrials division and is deputy chief executive.

Wesfarmers' ASX-listed shares last traded at $A42.13, down 1.6% over the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)

Staff Reporter
Wed, 15 Feb 2017
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
Australia's Wesfarmers says first-half result partly lifted by Bunnings
64849
false