Woolworths Declares $2.9 Billion Dollar Loss
Woolworths the owners of Big W and Masters, has unveiled a total first-half loss of $2.09 billion.
The struggling retailer has also announced the appointment of Brad Banducci the former head of the Companies food group as its new chief executive.
The embattled company, which recently pulled the pin on its failed hardware venture Masters, has suffered declining like-for-like supermarket sales in recent times. The loss includes a massive impairment charge of $3.01 billion after tax.writedown for the Masters business.
The supermarket group has also been struggling with growing competition from new discount players including Aldi and expansion of house brand products by JB hi Fi, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys.
The writedown of the value of the Masters home improvement chain, which the company is closing down after failing to compete with rival Bunnings, weighed on the group’s results.
“Despite the financial performance, we are making progress in the rebuilding of Woolworths,” the company said.
“We have significantly invested in price, service and customer experience in Australian Supermarkets, appointed a new Group and BIG W CEO and announced our exit of the Home Improvement business.”
Woolworths comparable sales in its supermarkets division fell 1 per cent over the first half of the year, following a 0.6 per cent decline in the last quarter, as the company continued to lose momentum against its rival chain Coles, owned by Wesfarmers. Financial results from Coles earlier this week showed a 4.3 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the six months to December
Woolworths will pay an interim dividend of 44c per share, fully franked, 35 per cent lower than the prior half-yearly payout of 67c.