Woolworths reports slight decline in full-year sales


Retail group Woolworths reported on Friday food sales remained resilient during the Covid-19 lockdown, with the group seeing a 1.1% decline in sales during its year to June 28.

This decline is in constant-currency terms, and also adjusts for the fact that the prior year included 53 weeks of trading. Excluding these effects, sales declined an annualised 1.9%.

The group’s Australian operations continued to weigh on its performance, with David Jones sales falling 8.1% in the nine weeks to June 28 as lockdowns in Australia and South Africa eased, while sales in Woolworths Food grew 16.1% as restrictions on the items it could sell eased.

Woolworths said the decline in foot traffic at David Jones was partly offset by a doubling in online sales during its second half, contributing 18.4% to sales at the Australian fashion retailer.

In the year to end June 28, Woolworths Food sales grew 8% in comparable terms, while sales at Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home fell 10.9%.

“The operating environment is challenging and fluid, and will remain so for the foreseeable future,” Woolworths said.

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