Are Woolworths’ sales rallying?
Retail and supermarket leader Woolworths is beginning to show some signs of recovery after it recently put a turnaround plan in place. Promotional work has seen the company’s sales grow compared to last year.
Woolworths reported first quarter like-for-like (LFL) sales were up 0.7 percent on a year ago - the first time sales have grown at Woolworths in nearly two years.
Overall food quarterly sales across all stores rose 1.7 percent over the year to $9.3 billion.
Chief executive Brad Banducci said the company was "making good progress" but cautioned, "While we are pleased with our progress, there remains much to do.
"Our trading performance over the Christmas period is crucial to the financial performance of the Woolworths group in the 2017 financial year."
While this recovery in sales is promising, there are a number of weak points in Woolworths’ business that are in need of redress. Quarterly petrol sales were posted at $1.2 billion, an 11 percent decrease on last year, but Woolworths is looking to sell these assets to either BP or Caltex.
The Big W department store chain is still floundering, with comparable sales down 5.7 percent. Deflation in the wider Australian economy saw its prices fall on average 3.7 percent.
Morgan Stanley retail analyst Thomas Kierath commented: "We believe that the relaunch of the Woolworths rewards program has contributed to a share shift from Coles to Woolworths during this period.
"Easing price deflation from -2.7 per cent in the 2016 fourth quarter to -1.9 per cent in 2017's first quarter has also helped drive LFL sales growth."
The result has been very well received by the markets - Woolworths shares were up 1.8 percent to $25.25.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.