Woolworths Group has announced its earning result for FY16 , including results for the New Zealand Supermarkets business, which includes Countdown and the Progressive Enterprises franchise businesses’, SuperValue and FreshChoice.
New Zealand Supermarkets sales were $6.1 billion (NZD), an increase of 3.8% from last year. Comparable sales increased 1.3%, as customers welcomed lower prices, better service and improved fresh food.
The Countdown food price index showed deflation of 0.3% across all products over the course of the year. Approximately 3,000 products are now at low prices every day, as part of the Price Down programme.
The FY16 earnings result was marginally below last year primarily due to additional investment in team hours. In July Countdown announced an investment in 600 new jobs plus extended hours for 200 of its existing team, focused on adding service hours into stores every week. The result was also impacted by higher performance-based bonuses for our team.
Progressive Enterprises Managing Director, Dave Chambers, said: “Countdown customers are benefiting from lower grocery prices and a better customer experience. In FY16 we increased sales, customer numbers and customer satisfaction, whilst operating in a highly competitive New Zealand food and grocery market. We’re heading into FY17 with good momentum.”
He adds: “Last year, the business opened eight new Countdown stores and two replacement stores. We also opened four franchise stores. Over the coming three years, it is anticipated that three to four new Countdown stores will open per year. Refurbishments of existing stores will also accelerate.”
Looking ahead to the 2017 financial year, Chambers says: “We will continue our focus on giving our customers what they tell us they want. We will continue to extend our Price Down programme with a focus on driving down prices, further improve the freshness of our fruit and vegetables, forge further online growth (including through new delivery windows), as well as introduce an exciting new partnership with AA Smartfuel.”
Countdown’s online business continues to experience double digit sales growth. Click and Collect has now been introduced nationwide in all 184 Countdown stores.