Aldi closes in on giants as profitability grows

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 31-May-16

UBS has forecast that Aldi will record annual growth in grocery sales in Australia of 15 per cent over the next three years. This is 4-5 times higher than the sector’s growth rate overall. Ben Gilbert of UBS forecasts that Aldi’s share of the national grocery market will exceed 10 per cent by 2019-20, compared with about seven per cent at present. He believes that the discount grocery chain will soon reach a "tipping point" in terms of its share of consumers’ main grocery shop.

CORPORATES
ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, LIDL GMBH & CO KG

Costco profit surges as sales exceed $1b

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 21-Dec-15

Costco Wholesale Australia has posted a pre-tax profit of $A22.7m for the year ended August 2015, following a loss of $A10.7m previously. The grocery retailer’s revenue rose from $A878.5m to $A1.323bn, while its gross margin increased from 14.3 per cent to 14.6 per cent. IBISWorld estimates that Costco now boasts about 1.2 per cent of Australia’s grocery market, six years after opening its first Australian store.

CORPORATES
COSTCO WHOLESALE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, DAVID JONES LIMITED, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION

Aldi favours shock and awe over surprise in SA invasion

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 26 : 19-Nov-15

Germany-based Aldi aims to open 16 stores in South Australia during 2016, with the first store slated to open on 3 February. Tom Kierath of Morgan Stanley forecasts that Aldi will boast a market share of about five per cent within 12 months of entering the state’s grocery sector. More than 35 per cent of Australians now shop at an Aldi store in an average four-week period, according to a survey by Roy Morgan Research. Aldi will also expand into Western Australia in 2016.

CORPORATES
ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, IGA, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS

Metcash plays down threat of Aldi expansion into WA, SA

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 30-Sep-15

Aldi will enter the South Australian and Western Australian markets in 2016, with plans for 120 stores in coming years. IGA stores in the two states typically boast higher profit margins than those on the east coast, and Metcash CEO Ian Morrice believes that IGA stores in SA and WA are in a stronger position to compete with Aldi than IGA stores in Victoria and New South Wales. Morrice has also downplayed the prospect of a price war between Coles and Woolworths.

CORPORATES
METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, IGA, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, FOODLAND AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CELLARBRATION PTY LTD, THE BOTTLE-O, IGA LIQUOR, MITRE 10 LIMITED, TRUE VALUE HARDWARE LIMITED, MASTERS HOME IMPROVEMENT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Is Metcash worth more dead or alive?

Original article by Adele Ferguson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 40 : 28-Sep-15

Metcash’s grocery wholesaling business accounts for more than 70 per cent of group earnings, but some experts have questioned whether the business will be viable in the long-term. The downturn in Metcash’s share price has prompted speculation that it may be targeted by private equity groups, with a view to a demerger. The IGA stores supplied by Metcash are also facing growing competition from Aldi, while allegations that some IGA stores have being underpaying their staff have emerged in the wake of the 7-Eleven scandal.

CORPORATES
METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, IGA, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, COLES GROUP LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, FOODWORKS SUPERMARKET GROUP LIMITED, FOODLAND AUSTRALIA LIMITED, LUCKY 7 HOLDINGS PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MITRE 10 LIMITED, DANKS HOLDINGS LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 100 ACCUMULATION INDEX, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MAGELLAN FINANCIAL GROUP LIMITED – ASX MFG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FOOD AND GROCERY COUNCIL, LION PTY LTD

Pressure on Coles, Woolies at both ends

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

Aldi’s expansion will increase price competition and cut into the market share of supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles and Metcash’s IGA chain. The supermarkets are also likely to be squeezed at the top end of the market when David Jones revamps its food halls and opens stand-alone upmarket food stores. Moody’s says the twin-pronged attack by Aldi and David Jones will shake up the duopoly structure of Australia’s grocery market.

CORPORATES
ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, DAVID JONES LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, COLES GROUP LIMITED, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, INDEPENDENT GROCERS OF AUSTRALIA, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED

Pressure on Coles, Woolies at both ends

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

Aldi’s expansion will increase price competition and cut into the market share of supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles and Metcash’s IGA chain. The supermarkets are also likely to be squeezed at the top end of the market when David Jones revamps its food halls and opens stand-alone upmarket food stores. Moody’s says the twin-pronged attack by Aldi and David Jones will shake up the duopoly structure of Australia’s grocery market.

CORPORATES
ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, DAVID JONES LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, COLES GROUP LIMITED, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, INDEPENDENT GROCERS OF AUSTRALIA, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED

Woolworths serves up Thomas Dux

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 19 : 30-Jun-15

Australian-listed Woolworths has declined to comment on reports that it is seeking a buyer for its chain of Thomas Dux stores. However, it is believed to be aiming for a sale price of $A10m-$A20m for the grocery chain, which specialises on gourmet foods and comprises 10 outlets. Woolworths Holdings is seen as a possible buyer for the chain, although the South Africa-based group has denied that it has made overtures regarding Thomas Dux.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, THOMAS DUX GROCER, WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED, DAVID JONES LIMITED, ABOUT LIFE PTY LTD, JONES THE GROCER, L CAPITAL ASIA, LVMH MOET HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON SA, BRIGHT FOOD GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, MANASSEN FOODS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SIMON JOHNSON PURVEYOR OF QUALITY FOODS PTY LTD, MASTERS HOME IMPROVEMENT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES

Murray in the business of making a difference

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 29-Jun-15

Former Lion Nathan CEO Rob Murray has a track record of turning around struggling companies. He did so at Lion, as well as Spillers Petfoods and Nestle Foods in the UK. Murray is now on the boards of three Australian-listed companies whose outlooks are uncertain. He is a non-executive director of Southern Cross Media Group and chairs both Metcash and Dick Smith Holdings. Murray says Metcash’s price-matching strategy must focus on key grocery products, and has ruled out the sale of its Mitre 10 hardware business.

CORPORATES
METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, DICK SMITH HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX DSH, LION PTY LTD, SPILLERS PETFOODS, NESTLE SA, IGA, MITRE 10 LIMITED, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, LIDL GMBH & CO KG, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, MASTERS HOME IMPROVEMENT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TEN, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, LINFOX PTY LTD, BESTEST, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY

DJs set to join great Aussie food fight

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 25-Jun-15

South Africa-based Woolworths Holdings is believed to be planning to build a presence in Australia’s food and grocery sector, via its David Jones subsidiary. The group intends to revamp the food halls in David Jones department stores, and the strategy may also include establishing stand-alone food stores to compete with local grocery retailers Coles and Woolworths Limited. Meanwhile, Woolworths Holdings is said to be looking at selling two of its stores in the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED, DAVID JONES LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS LIMITED – ASX WOW, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, THOMAS DUX GROCER, JONES THE GROCER, MARKS AND SPENCER PLC, NM ROTHSCHILD AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, COUNTRY ROAD LIMITED, JP MORGAN AND COMPANY INCORPORATED, FOODCHAIN BY DAVID JONES