Profit slides at Australian supermarket giant Woolworths

GMT 01:37 2015 Friday ,28 August

Arab Today, arab today Profit slides at Australian supermarket giant Woolworths

Woolworths is Australia's largest food retailer
Sydney - AFP

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths on Friday posted a 12.5 percent slide in full-year net profit and announced its chairman was stepping down, just months after the group's chief executive quit.

Profit at the country's largest food retailer fell to Aus$2.15 billion (US$1.54 billion) in the year to June 28 on the back of poor sales of food, liquor and petrol amid fierce competition from rival Coles and German retailer Aldi.

One-off costs and write-downs of Aus$426 million also hit the bottom line, along with more than Aus$200 million spent on improving its supermarkets during the year.

Revenue edged down 0.1 percent to Aus$61.15 billion.

In June, Woolworths announced chief executive Grant O'Brien was leaving and 1,200 jobs faced the axe as the company sought to turn itself around, with chairman Ralph Waters following him out the door.

Waters will be replaced from September 1 by Gordon Cairns, the former chief of food and drinks giant Lion Nathan.

"The most immediate issue is to identify new leadership to take the business forward," said Cairns of the global search to replace O'Brien.

"Ralph Waters’ decision to retire has facilitated board renewal and allows me to participate in the CEO search process."

The company, which is unrelated to South African department store Woolworths Holdings, maintained a final dividend of 72 cents per share.


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