The stock climbed 6.8 percent to A$3.675, the most since Oct. 1, 2008, at 11:32 a.m. local time. Net income in the year ended April 30 surged to A$206 million ($190 million) from A$90 million a year earlier, Metcash said in a statement today.
Liquor sales jumped 25 percent while revenue at the hardware and automotive business rose 13 percent, Sydney-based Metcash said. Earnings met targets even amid falling prices and competition between Australia’s two largest supermarket chains, Woolworths Ltd. (WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd.-owned Coles.
“It is a challenging time for the independent retail sector with consumer confidence low and the self-service supermarket chains locked in a marketing war,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Reitzer said in the statement. “We are pleased to announce a full-year result that meets our guidance amid tough trading conditions.”
Food and grocery sales fell 2.3 percent to A$9.1 billion due largely to store closures, the company said. Reitzer steps down June 30 and will be replaced by Ian Morrice.
Metcash plans to pay a final dividend of 16.5 Australian cents a share, taking the full-year payout to 28 cents. That matches last year’s total, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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