Woolworths $2 billion profit
Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, beat analyst forecasts with a 10.1 per cent rise in annual net profit on Thursday and said profit would again grow between 8-11 per cent in fiscal 2011.
The retailer, which also owns Big W discount stores and the Dick Smith electronics chain, said net profit was $2.021 billion in the year ended June 30, up from $1.84 billion a year earlier.
Analysts had expected around $1.992 billion and Woolworths had forecast 8-11 per cent profit growth.
The company also announced a $700 million off-market share buyback on Thursday.
Woolworths is facing increased competition from Wesfarmers-owned Coles, which has attracted more customers with its improved fresh food selection and price cuts, as part of a five-year turnaround.
Woolworths shares closed Wednesday at $26.90, down 4 per cent so far this year versus an 11 per cent fall in the broader market.