Cash-strapped shoppers flocking to Kmart have helped power profits at retail giant Wesfarmers close to five per cent higher for 2023.
The $56 billion operator of the Kmart, Target and Bunnings brands revealed on Friday morning that its revenues had risen by 18.2 per cent for the year to $43.6 billion.
Profits were up by 4.8 per cent to $2.47 billion, with Kmart Group and Officeworks the standout performers for the year.
Chief executive Rob Scott said the group’s performance showed the strength of its portfolio and its resilience in the current tough trading environment.
“The group’s largest divisions performed particularly well during the year, with solid earnings reported in Bunnings, and strong earnings growth in Kmart and [chemicals and energy business] WesCEF,” he said.
Kmart Group, which includes the Kmart and Target Brands, recorded revenues up 16.5 per cent to $10.6 billion and earnings up 52.3 per cent for the year, to $769 million. Kmart Group had continued to benefit from “strong trading results” in the first weeks of the 2024 financial year, though this has moderated from the momentum seen in the six months to June.
The optimistic outlook for Kmart comes after other discount department store retailers flagged tougher conditions this week. Woolworths boss Brad Banducci said the company’s Big W brand faced challenging trading conditions as families cut back their spending on discretionary goods like small appliances.
Office and school supplies business Officeworks saw revenues rise 5.9 per cent to $3.3 billion, while earnings were up 10.5 per cent to $200 million.
Wesfarmers said its major earnings driver, DIY giant Bunnings, delivered solid results for the year, but its earnings were flat for the year overall, up by 1.2 per cent to $2.2 billion. Earnings at Bunnings in the six months to June 30 were up by just 0.7 per cent to $952 million.
The company told investors that the group’s strong full-year result meant it was upping its dividend, with the final fully-franked payout coming in at $1.03 per share. This brings the full-year dividend payment to $1.91 per share, a 6.1 per cent increase on 2022.
Wesfarmers said cost pressures would continue to be elevated in the face of inflation and wage cost increases, but said its brands were able to leverage their scale to and sourcing capabilities to offset some of this.
Wesfarmers shares were up by 8.7 per cent since the start of the yeat at Thursday’s market close at $49.39.
More to come
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Source: Thanks smh.com