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Working from home boosts half-year sales at Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks

Retail conglomerate Wesfarmers has shared in the impressive retail results pouring in following the past six months, with revenue up 16.6 per cent to $17.7 billion, and earnings before interest and tax hitting $2.1 billion – a 25.2 per cent increase.

During the half year to 31 December the group’s retail division saw strong sales in its Bunnings, Kmart Group and Officeworks brands – each enjoying the continued shift of customers working from, and improving, their home.

Bunnings Warehouse’s revenue grew 24.4 per cent to $9 billion during the half.

“The strength of the sales and earnings results reflect Bunnings’ solid execution of the strategic agenda and the ability of the operating model to successfully adapt to changing customer behaviour and operating environments,” the group said.

Same-store sales grew 27.7 per cent, with sales in gardening and outdoor living categories driving much of the growth.

Kmart Group, which brings together department stores Kmart and Target and online marketplace Catch, saw revenue increase 9 per cent to $5.4 million. Target’s profitability improved “significantly” during the period, with sales up 2.3 per cent compared to the 4.3 per cent loss it saw this time last year, while Catch saw its gross transaction value grow 95.6 per cent.

“The restructuring of Target will accelerate in the second half, resulting in a significantly reduced store network and a simplified operating model that will ensure Target is fit for purpose in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market,” the group said.

“Target is now expected to be profitable for the 2021 financial year before one-off costs.”

Officeworks’ revenue jumped 23.7 per cent to $1.5 billion, driven by a continued demand for technology and home office products. Additionally, the business’ investment in its omnichannel capabilities bore fruit, with online penetration hitting 37.1 per cent.

And, overall, the group remains positive about the next six months.

“Economic conditions in Australia have recovered strongly and the outlook is more positive, subject to future Covid-19 risks,” Wesfarmers said in it’s half-year shareholder report.

“While the continued impact of Covid-19 on consumer demand and operations presents significant uncertainty, the group’s portfolio of cash-generative businesses with leading market positions remains well-placed to deliver satisfactory shareholder returns over the long term.”

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