Retail giant Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) has delivered a 12.5% jump in full-year net profit.
Net profit for the 52 weeks ended June 24 rose to $1.72 billion from $1.53 billion a year earlier, while Group sales from continuing operations rose 3.4% to $56.73 billion.
Group earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from continuing operations increased by 9.5% to $2,548 million.
Brad Banducci, Woolworths CEO said “Australian Food delivered the strongest sales growth in a number of years in FY18 with comparable sales growth of 4.3%. Pleasingly, comparable transaction growth remained strong and EBIT grew by 9.6% for the year.”
The company said the boost was driven by renewed demand for its extensive food offerings, and new stores.
Woolworths announced it will pay a final dividend of 50 cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier, plus a special dividend of 10 cents a share.
Woolworths is considering a sale or IPO of its petrol business, despite signing a 15-year supply deal with Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) last month.
CEO Mr Banducci said: “Across the Woolworths Group, we continue to be energised by the many opportunities to transform our business to be better for customers, team members and shareholders.
Further capital management will be considered as part of a successful exit of the Petrol business.”
The company expects to release its Quarter 1 FY19 results on 1 November 2018, and said FY19 will a 53-week year.
Woolworths shares closed 10 cents or 0.34% lower on Friday, down to $29.60.
The Woolworths Group Ltd share price has gained 8.42% since the beginning of 2018, compared to the S&P/ASX 200 Index, which has gained 4.52% in the period.