Woolworths Group has released its full-year financial results for 2023 (F23) ((July-June). Woolworths New Zealand reported a 21.0 percent decline in EBIT to NZ$249 million following significant cost inflation, despite a 4.6 percent increase in Sales in F23.
Woolworths New Zealand Managing Director Spencer Sonn said the past year had been characterised by high inflation, and Woolworths have not been immune to that.
“We know our customers have been facing cost challenges, and, as a business, we are no different,” stated Sonn.
High global inflation, ongoing supply chain issues and, closer to home, devastating weather events have all had a material impact on Woolworths' business and affected its performance during the year.
“However, I’m pleased with how we have increased wages for our team members and continued to pay our suppliers a fair price.”
Sonn continued that, like all New Zealanders, the Woolworths team was facing the cost of living pressures too and therefore, despite the challenging operating environment, Woolworths has continued to prioritise its team and, through a new agreement, delivered an average wage increase of 19 percent over two years.
As announced in July, Woolworths are committed to continuing to invest in New Zealand, including accelerated spending of $400 million to renew our 191-strong Store and Distribution Centre network to make shopping with Woolworths better for customers and its team. This will also build a more sustainable business in the long term for all stakeholders.
Other changes Woolworths are making for its customers include the recent launch of its rapid delivery service MILKRUN, increasing its funding for its community food rescue partners through its Food for Good Foundation, and an increased focus on fresh produce with construction underway on its new Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre.
“I am excited about the year ahead and helping our customers find great value whenever they shop with us. We know it’s been a tough year for many of them.”
The recently announced change from Countdown to Woolworths Supermarkets and the transition of Onecard to Everyday Rewards provide focus and energy to Woolworths plans.
Food inflation has remained elevated, driven by market-wide inflation with average price growth of 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slightly below the third quarter, and below the New Zealand Food Price Index for that time.
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