Earlier this month, Woolworths revealed that losses on its $2. 6 billion home improvement division had blown out to $176 million and that the new Masters big box hardware operation would not turn a profit before 2017. But a 7. 2 per cent lift in normalised earnings from its food, liquor and petrol operations drove the result, even after the competition regulator restricted the use of shopping discounts on fuel.
Woolworths this morning delivered an 8. 5 per cent lift in full-year earnings to $2. 45 billion, a result that would have been much stronger had it not taken on rival Wesfarmers with a major expansion into hardware.
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