Wesfarmers’ first-half profit increases by 3%

Melbourne, Australia – January 3, 2016: Bunnings Warehouse, owned by Wesfarmers, is the largest hardware business in Australia. This is the suburban Nunawading store.

The Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers on Thursday reported a 3% increase in half-year profit, driven by a robust performance on the part of its retail businesses.

The Perth-based company, which also runs fertilizer, lithium, and healthcare operations, said that its net profit after tax for the half-year ending December 31 was AUS$1.43bn ($930mn), up from AUS$1.38bn the previous year. Revenue rose 0.5% year on year to AUS$22.67bn.

Wesfarmers reported that its budget department store Kmart saw a 4.8% revenue increase and its hardware store Bunnings saw a 1.7% revenue increase. Its chemicals, energy, and fertilizer unit, meanwhile, suffered a 21% drop in revenue.

“Wesfarmers’ retail divisions executed strongly during the half, responding effectively to changing customer needs as households increasingly sought out value,” said Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott. “In this environment, the retail divisions’ core offer of everyday products with market-leading value credentials supported growth in sales and customer transaction numbers.”

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