WESFARMERS has reported a 25 per cent increase in profit on an operating revenue base increase of just 3 per cent.
In the half year ended December 31 2002 the company recorded a net profit of $224.9 million on operating revenue of $3.7 billion, compared with revenue of $3.6 billion for the corresponding period the previous year.
The Bunnings hardware merchandising business accounts for half of Wesfarmers’ business, increasing by 16 per cent to $1.8 billion with earnings before interest, tax and goodwill amortisation up 35 per cent on the corresponding period the previous year to $196 million.
A number of factors impacted on the performance, however. There were significantly lower earnings from Wesfarmers’ partly owned investment house Gresham Partners due to reduced corporate activity. And its 50 per cent-owned Australian Railroad Group preformed well within budgeted revenue.
The rail business has been plagued by infrastructure problems, restructuring costs and severe drought conditions. Also touched by the drought was the group’s Wesfarmers Landmark rural services and insurance business.
- Gary Kleyn
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