Harvey Norman profits jump 3.5%; Woolworths posts $2.45 billion profit: Midday roundup

Harvey Norman profits jump 3.5%; Woolworths posts $2.45 billion profit: Midday roundup

Retailer Harvey Norman has announced its sales results for the 2013-14 financial year, revealing a 3.5% increase in global sales when compared to the previous year.

Sales in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Croatia and Ireland for the twelve months totalled $5.77 billion.

During the 2013-14 financial year, seven Harvey Norman stores and one Joyce Mayne outlet were closed in Australia. According to the company, sales for July and up to August 28 continue to be stable.

Invested responded well to the news, with Harvey Norman shares up 5.78% to $3.48 as of 12:23pm.

Woolworths posts $2.45 billion profit

Supermarket giant Woolworths has posted a $2.45 billion net profit for the 2013-14 financial year, an 8.5% lift from last year.

Sales were up 3.9%to $60.8 billion for the year, while earnings before interest and tax were up 3.3% to $3,775.2 million.

Food and Liquor sales totalled $41.2 billion, an increase of 4.7% on the previous year, while online sales growth more than 35%.

Woolworths Limited chief executive officer Grant O’Brien said in “a highly competitive market with ongoing consumer uncertainty”, the company has increased market share while still delivering savings to customers.

O’Brien also shrugged off financial loses made by its home improvement arm, Masters, which were posted at $169m.

“As previously outlined, our home improvement business is focused on moving from the start-up phase to a scalable, profitable business where it will become a material profit contributor for the group,” said O’Brien.

Investors were unimpressed with the news, with shares falling 1.06% to 36.560 as of 12.33pm.

Shares down on open

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.5 points to 5623.9 points at 12:00PM AEST. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.25%, falling 42.44 points to 17,079.57 points.



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