Woolworths has reported his third quarter results with total sales increasing by 4.3 per cent on the prior corresponding period, with comparable growth being 4.4 per cent.
Endeavour Drinks Group now reports its figures separately within the overall Woolworths results and the group saw sales increase by 6.9 per cent in the third quarter to $2.0bn with comparable sales increasing by 6.1 per cent. On an Easter-adjusted basis, comparable sales increased by 3.3 per cent.
In its quarterly report Woolworths said: “BWS and Dan Murphy’s continued to perform strongly with positive comparable sales across both banners at or above market growth rates. Warm weather impacted category mix with beer sales benefitting relative to wine.
“Endeavour Drinks continues to improve its online offering to meet evolving customer needs with Dan Murphy’s and BWS online sales growing over 20 per cent. At the end of the quarter, Express Delivery was available in 319 BWS stores.
“Dan Murphy’s total fleet size remained unchanged in the quarter at 225. BWS opened two and closed two stores, ending the quarter with 1,315 stores.”
Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said: “We are pleased with the progress we are continuing to make against our key priorities as we pivot from turnaround to transformation. We remain energised by the number of opportunities we see to continue to improve our business.
“Woolworths Group’s sales performance remained strong in the third quarter of FY18 despite cycling much improved prior year growth. Australian and New Zealand Food’s Easter-adjusted comparable sales increased 4.0 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively despite the impact from the timing of New Year’s Day. Endeavour Drinks’ Easter-adjusted comparable sales increased by 3.3 per cent.
“Our focus for the remainder of FY18 is on delivering consistently good shopping experiences across all stores and days of the week, embedding current strategic initiatives including ‘Simpler for Stores’ and continuing to improve our digital experience.”
Within its hotels business sales for the quarter were $390m, an increase of 3.3 per cent. Comparable sales increased by 3.2 per cent or 3.9 per cent on an Easter-adjusted basis. The group reported that the sales growth was driven by growth across all key categories of gaming, bars, food and accommodation, with sales benefitting from the performance of refurbished venues.
The group closed one hotel during the quarter to close with 326 hotels and the group also addressed reports about its conduct regarding its poker machines, which were published earlier this year.
“The allegations reported in the media earlier this year are still being investigated under the supervision of an ALH Board sub-committee comprised of non-executive directors, with the assistance of external advisers,” the group said.
“ALH has also engaged Responsible Gaming Council of Canada to undertake a best practice review and bench-marking project in relation to ALH responsible gaming practices.”