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Metcash benefits from customers’ local shift throughout first half

(Source: Bigstock)

Retail group Metcash has seen half-year profit jump 3 per cent to $128.8 million, while earnings rose 13.9 per cent, off the back of the success of its MFuture program.

Group CEO Jeff Adams said the businesses food, liquor and hardware pillars had all benefitted from Metcash’s position in the market, with shoppers increasingly supporting local neighbourhood centres and moving from cities to regional areas.

“Compared to 1H20, substantial growth was delivered with IGA supermarkets up 18.8 per cent, IBA stores in Liquor up 27 per cent, Independent Hardware Group stores up 17.7 per cent, and Total Tools stores up 51 per cent,” Adams said.

“This is a significant achievement given the many challenges in the half including staff isolations, labour shortages, supply chain issues, continuously changing health regulations and other lockdown-related impacts.”

Metcash’s total sales in its food department declined 4.9 per cent, however, or 16.8 per cent including the impact of no longer supplying Drakes Supermarkets in South Australia and 7-Eleven on the east coast.

Total like-for-like liquor sales were up 6.6 per cent, while the business’ hardware sales rose 17.9 per cent.

Looking toward the remainder of the financial year ahead of it, Metcash said the first five weeks of 2H22 have been buoyed by customer behaviour and improved competitiveness, and it expects all pillars to see a strong holiday period.

However, supply chain disruptions and increased Covid-19 related costs are expected, particularly in distribution centres.

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