Masters + Big W Sales Crash As Woolies Reports 12.5% Sales Slump
Total group sales were down 0.2 per cent to $60.7 billion and earnings before interest and tax plunged 12 per cent to $3.3 billion.
BigW is fast becoming a train wreck despite the mass retailer expanding their consumer electronics offerings. Sales slumped 5.7% from $4.3 Billion to $4.1 Billion.
Comp sales were down 7.2% while the cost of doing business rose 167bps.
The losses from Masters also continued to grow, blowing out to $245.6 million for the full year on sales of $930 million. Last week, the rival Bunnings hardware chain who have recently started to add brands like Belkin in an effort to attract home automation customers, unveiled a record $1.1 billion profit result, from an 11.6 per cent jump in sales to $9.5 billion.
Woolworths also said chairman Ralph Waters would step down on September 1, to be replaced on the same day by Mr Cairns.
The appointment of former Lion Nathan chief Gordon Cairns as chairman is seen by analysts as a vital step in preparing the ground for the appointment of a new chief executive to replace the retiring Grant O’Brien.
This is the first full-year net profit drop in 19 years (excluding one-offs), as it battles to fend off a sustained price attack from Aldi and Coles and as they struggle to stem losses from its Masters Hardware operation and turn around Big W.
The Daily Telegraph wrote of thew Woolies saga, ‘Watching Woolworths is increasingly the corporate equivalent of car crash TV. There’s the sudden departure of Big W boss Alistair McGeorge after complaints about his “workplace behaviour”, the ongoing “leadership” of lame duck CEO Grant O’Brien and a series of PR disasters (the “Fresh in our Memories” Anzac social media campaign, anyone?) just for starters’.