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Delivering sustainable profit growth and customer value through focus on our Strategic Priorities led by Australian food and liquor

Net Profit After Tax of $1,321.7 million, up 14.5%

Earnings Per Share of 106.1 cents, up 13.4%

Net Profit After Tax From Continuing Operations Before Significant Items up 6.0%

Key Financial Highlights for the FY14 Half Year

- Total Group sales of $31.8 billion, up 3.8%
- Sales from continuing operations up 6.0%

Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT)
- Total Group EBIT of $2,048.0 million, up 11.3%
- EBIT from continuing operations before significant items1 up 5.9%

Net Profit After Tax (NPAT)
- Total Group NPAT of $1,321.7 million, up 14.5%
- NPAT from continuing operations before significant items1 up 6.0%

Earnings per Share (EPS)
- Total Group EPS up 13.4% to 106.1 cents
- EPS from continuing operations before significant items1 up 4.9%

- Over $0.8 billion will be returned to shareholders via the fully franked HY14 dividend of 65 cents per share, up 4.8% led by Australian Food and Liquor

Woolworths CEO, Grant O’Brien said: “We are pleased to report a solid profit result for the first half of financial year 2014, with net profit after tax from continuing operations before significant items1 up 6.0% on the previous half year.

“Our focus over the last two years has been to commence the transformation of our business. This result clearly demonstrates the progress we are making against each of our four Strategic Priorities.

“We have delivered 6.8% EBIT growth in our Australian Food and Liquor business, consistent with our priority to ‘extend our leadership in Food and Liquor’, which has been achieved in a highly competitive marketplace.

“We have continued our leadership in price and range, delivering more than $400 million in savings to customers predominantly through our ‘More Savings Every Day’ program.

“The Woolworths Liquor Group again delivered growth across all three formats – Dan Murphy’s (Destination), BWS (Convenience) and The Wine Quarter (Online) and continues to lead the way in innovation.

“In New Zealand, we gained market share in a subdued grocery market and are in the early stages of transforming our Countdown business with the last quarter showing signs of improving momentum.

“We have commenced the transformation of BIG W’s customer offer, replenishment systems and supply chain capabilities. We have much more to do and are focused on delivering profitable growth in the future.
“We are progressing our ambition to be Australia’s most responsible operator of local pubs and our focus on family friendly food offerings has delivered pleasing results.
“Our Home Improvement business continues to grow rapidly and we are improving and adding to our network of stores. We are executing our plan to make Home Improvement a long-term profit contributor for the Group.

“We have been putting in place the enablers for a new era of growth. This will accelerate as we begin our next phase of supply chain enhancements to drive competitive advantage into the future. 

“Online has been another highlight as we continue to provide customers with more convenient ways to shop. We exceeded $1 billion of sales ahead of our FY14 target. The acquisition of EziBuy has enhanced our online and direct retailing capabilities, and supports our position as Australasia’s largest domestic online retailer.

“Data driven insights continue to assist with the transformation of our business. Through our investment in Quantium, we can better understand the needs of our customers and deliver a better shopping experience.”

Woolworths Limited Chairman, Ralph Waters, said: “The Board has announced a half year dividend of 65 cents per share, a 4.8% increase, up from 62 cents in the prior year.

“This is a pleasing result for the half year and I am confident that Woolworths is in a good position to continue to reward both its customers and its shareholders into the future.”

For the Half Year Profit  Report and Dividends Announcement please click here