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Wesfarmers 1st Half Profit Rises 3%, Boosted by Retail — Update

By Mike Cherney


SYDNEY--Australian industrial-retail conglomerate Wesfarmers said its half-year profit rose by 3%, reflecting a strong performance in retail but a drag from lower commodity prices.

The company, which runs retail chains like hardware store Bunnings and discount chain Kmart and has fertilizer, lithium and healthcare businesses, said its net profit for the six months through December was 1.425 billion Australian dollars (US$930 million). That's slightly ahead of market expectations for A$1.398 billion, as assessed by FactSet.

Revenue rose by 0.5% to A$22.67 billion. That compares to market expectations for A$22.79 billion, according to FactSet. The rise was driven by Kmart, where revenue rose by 4.8%, and Bunnings, where revenue grew by 1.7%, and offset by the chemicals, energy and fertilizer unit, where revenue fell by 21%.

Wesfarmers said it would pay an interim dividend of 91 cents a share, up from 88 cents a year ago.

Wesfarmers didn't provide specific earnings guidance, but said its retail performance remains positive. It said in the first five weeks of the fiscal second half, Kmart continued to deliver strong sales growth, and that Bunnings sales growth remained in line with the results in the fiscal first half.

Wesfarmers added that it expects net capital expenditure of between A$1 billion and A$1.2 billion for the financial year. In its new lithium business, it said that at current spodumene prices, sales will not contribute positive earnings during the 2024 financial year due to the higher cost of production while volumes ramp up toward full capacity.

It also said that the performance of its industrial businesses remain subject to international commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, competitive factors and seasonal outcomes.


Write to Mike Cherney at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2024 17:19 ET (22:19 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2024 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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