Metcash soars to three-year high despite grocery pain

 In Australia, Metcash/IGA, NewZealand
Wholesaler Metcash has suffered another half of falling sales at its IGA supermarket network but managed to grow profit through a cost-cutting program and the integration of the Home Timber and Hardware chain. Metcash’s shares soared 9 per cent in early trade on Monday to their highest value in almost four years after handing down a surprise jump in half-year profit.
The company on Monday revealed that total wholesale supermarket sales, excluding tobacco, fell 3.7 per cent in the six months to October 31, as comparable sales at the independent IGA supermarkets it supplies declined 1.1 per cent.
Sales were hurt by grocery price deflation of 2.7 per cent in the half, significant price cutting by competitors, and Aldi expanding in South Australia and Western Australia, Metcash said. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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