Woolworths reports $973m loss

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 26 February 2016

Woolworths has reported a loss of $972.7 million in its half year results, following pre-tax $3 billion impairment charges as it looks to exit the home-improvement business.

The group reported net profit after tax of $925.8 million, a drop of 33.1% from the prior corresponding period. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 31.6% to 1.45 billion.

The profit was in line with the guidance range Woolworths provided in October.

Last month Woolworths announced it would be pulling out of its investment in home-improvement, looking to off-load its Masters and Home Timber and Hardware businesses.

In its results announcement today, chairman Gordon Cairns says he is looking at “rebuilding the Woolworths business” with a range of measures, starting with the appointment of Brad Banducci as the new CEO and MD of the group.

But Cairns says while progress is being made, the rebuilding process is a “three to five year journey and there is much to do”.

“At the annual general meeting I outlined clear business priorities to rebuttal Woolworths, with a particular focus on our supermarkets business to ensure we are competing vigorously.

“This is underway with significant investment in improving the customer experience.”

Cairns says the next priority is focusing its portfolio, which includes the exit of the home improvement business.

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