Woolworths Group increased sales 8.5% to £2.97b in the year to February 2 2008, while profit before tax and exceptional items rose from £7.3m in the previous year to £14.9m. Pre-tax profit after exceptional items fell from £16.0m to £11.7m.
Retail like-for-like sales were down 3.2%, partly reflecting the decision not to chase unprofitable sales.
The group says its Worthit! brand continues to grow profitably, and multi-channel sales were up 5.2%. Woolworths is now planning a “better” brand launch.
Chief executive Trevor Bish-Jones said: “We have made good progress over the past year. We are particularly pleased that Woolworths Retail has returned to profit in a year in which our markets remained volatile and fiercely competitive.”
He added that Woolworths would be making further improvements this year to the customer offer and store portfolio while continuing to cut costs, and expected to make further progress.