METCASH NET PROFIT FALLS 20 PER CENT, ANNOUNCES CEO WILL STEP DOWN IN 2018

METCASH NET PROFIT FALLS 20 PER CENT, ANNOUNCES CEO WILL STEP DOWN IN 2018
FOOD and grocery giant Metcash has announced its full year net profit has fallen more than 20 per cent and its CEO Ian Morrice will step down from the role in 2018.

The company, which owns retail businesses IGA and Foodland and is a wholesaler and distributor, reported its net profit had fallen to $171.9 million for the year to April 30 but revenue rose 5.4 per cent to $14.12 billion and it declared a final dividend of 4.5 cents per share.

The company says the decline in net profit was due partly to the costs associated to its recent acquisition of Home Timber & Hardware and its "working smarter" savings program in its food and grocery business.

The previous year's profit also included proceeds from the sale of its automotive business.

"We continued to see positive earnings momentum in both liquor and hardware while in food the impact of intense competition and weak economic conditions in Western Australia was largely offset by the benefit of the 53rd trading week and revenue from the home timber and hardware business that was acquired in October 2016," says CEO Ian Morrice.

The company also reported that in the first six weeks of the new full year, sales in its food business had continued to be impacted by "competitive pressure" and difficult economic conditions in Western Australia, caused by the mining downturn.

It also announced that Morrice will retire as CEO in 2018, a position he has held since 2013.

"Under Ian's leadership, we have seen many of our independent retail customers improve their competitive position through implementing our transformation initiatives to deliver the 'best store in town' (concept)," says Metcash chairman Rob Murray.

"Ian has also overseen the successful repositioning of the company with the delivery of a strong balance sheet and a lower cost base."

Morrice will remain in the job until a successor can be found.

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