Woolies thrives but Banducci stays cautious

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 30-Aug-19

Groceries and liquor giant Woolworths Group has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $2.693bn, which is 56.1 per cent higher than previously. Its profit from continuing operations was down per cent at $1.49bn following the sale of its petrol division, but group sales rose 5.3 per cent to $59.98bn. Woolworths’ core Australian supermarkets division recorded earnings and sales growth of 5.7 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively. Big W’s sales were 6.5 per cent higher, although the discount department store chain posted an EBIT loss of $85m.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, ENDEAVOUR DRINKS, DAN MURPHY’S, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL

Harris Scarfe highest for discount department store satisfaction

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-Jun-19

New research from Roy Morgan shows that Harris Scarfe is Australia’s leading discount department store, with a customer satisfaction rating of 90.1%, ahead of Kmart on 88.9% and Best & Less on 88.7%. The biggest improvement over the year to April came from Harris Scarfe (up 6.9% points). The other improvers were Best & Less (up 4.1% points), Big W (up 2.1% points), Costco (up 1.5% points) and Kmart (up 0.8% points). These are the latest results from Roy Morgan’s Discount Department Store Satisfaction Report, which is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 9,000 interviews with people who shop at a discount department store in an average four weeks.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, HARRIS SCARFE HOLDINGS LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BEST AND LESS PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, COSTCO WHOLESALE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Woolworths bites the bullet on Big W

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 2-Apr-19

Woolworths has advised that it will close 30 of its Big W department stores, which will reduce the number of outlets by about 16 per cent. Two of Big W’s distribution centres will also be closed as part of the restructuring program, which will result in a one-off impairment charge of $370m. Woolworths has forecast that Big W will post a loss of least $80m in fiscal 2019, but CEO Brad Banducci says the retail giant is committed to restoring the chain to profitability. The store closures could result in the loss of up to 1,000 jobs, but Woolworths hopes to redeploy many employees.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, EG GROUP, PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Myer cuts another 50 jobs as sales fall

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 22-Mar-19

Myer Holdings has stressed that customer-facing staff will not be affected by the department store group’s latest job cuts. CEO John King has advised that 50 employees will be retrenched, primarily in store administration, marketing and merchandising roles. Myer is expected to shed further jobs when it begins reducing the amount of space it leases in some of its stores. Myer retrenched 30 executives and managers in August 2018, shortly after King took the helm.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, HOUSE OF FRASER HOLDINGS PLC, TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, J WALTER THOMPSON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, OGILVY AUSTRALIA

Reprieve for Myer as profits rise

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 7-Mar-19

Department store group Myer Holdings has posted a 2018-19 interim profit of $38.4m, compared with a writedown-marred loss of $476m for the previous corresponding period. Myer’s underlying profit was up 3.1 per cent at $41.3m, but sales fell by 2.8 per cent to $1.67bn. CEO John King says Myer will continue to sale overseas fashion brands, but it will seek to increase its in-house brands’ share of group sales from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, DAVID JONES LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Woolies takes $2.5bn hit as profit stagnates

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 21-Feb-19

Grocery giant Woolworths Group has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $979m, which is one per cent higher than previously. Net profit from continuing operations, rose by 2.1 per cent to $920m and sales were up 2.2 per cent at $30.704bn. Analyst say the half-year results were disappointing, and Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has warned that the retail trading environment is likely to remain challenging in the second half. Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of $0.45 per share.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, DAN MURPHY’S, ENDEAVOUR DRINKS, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, EG GROUP

Wesfarmers revamps Kmart after sales shock

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 15-Jan-19

Wesfarmers has advised that same-store sales for its Kmart unit fell by 0.6 per cent in the first half of 2018-19. Wesfarmers stated that earnings from its department store division, which includes Kmart, would be down around seven per cent for the half-year. Wesfarmers MD Rob Scott said Kmart’s sales decline could be attributed to a range of factors, including lower demand for womenswear and its decision to no longer sell DVDs.

CORPORATES
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TARGET AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX CGC, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, KATHMANDU HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX KMD, QUADRANT ENERGY PTY LTD

Myer’s executive clearance carries a $2.5m price tag

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 21 : 26-Oct-18

Myer CEO John King has told shareholders in its latest annual report that he will spend at least two days a week in its stores. King joined the department store chain in June, since which time he has cut at least 30 staff from its management ranks. Myer’s annual report reveals that its recent culling of senior executives, which included former CEO Richard Umbers and CFO Grant Davenport, has cost it over $2.65 million in termination and other payments.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, PREMIER INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX PMV

Lew urges Wilson to help fix Myer board

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 17-Sep-18

Geoff Wilson’s Wilson Asset Management has become a substantial shareholder in retailer Myer, with a 5.5 per cent stake. Solomon Lew, whose Premier Investments holds a 10.8 per cent stake in Myer and who has been unhappy with its performance since Premier acquired its stake in March 2017, has called on Wilson to help him toss out the Myer board. However, Wilson has indicated that he is happy to support new Myer CEO John King and his senior managers, while he has queried the rationale behind Lew’s attacks on the Myer board.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT, PREMIER INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX PMV

Department stores aren’t dying, says DJ’s owner

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 24-Aug-18

David Jones’s operating profit fell by 49.6 per cent to $64 million in the year to June 2018, as advised by parent company Woolworths Holdings. This compared to an operating profit of $127 million for the previous corresponding period. Department store earnings were down 58 per cent to $5 million. Sales for the second half of the reporting period increased by 2.2 per cent, while sales for the first seven weeks of 2018-19 have risen by 3.7 per cent.

CORPORATES
DAVID JONES LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED, COUNTRY ROAD LIMITED, ZARA, HENNES OCH MAURITZ AB, LOUIS VUITTON, CHANEL INCORPORATED, WALT DISNEY COMPANY