Woolies CEO Brad Banducci Retires Amid Price-Gouging Acrimony As $900m Half-Year Profits Announced

Woolies CEO Brad Banducci Retires Amid Price-Gouging Acrimony As $900m Half-Year Profits Announced

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci (pictured) has announced that he will be retiring from the company as the company is embroiled in a row over price-gouging and his very public spat with ABC Four Corners reporter Angus Grigg.

Amidst the chaos, Woolworths announced group net profits for the first half of the 2024 financial year of $929 million — up 2.5 per cent from the same time last year. However, the retail giant said that these profits were offset by the impairment of its New Zealand operations and the loss of its 9.1 per cent stake in Endeavour Group, which owns Dan Murphy’s and a range of venues.

Banducci had spent 13 years with Woolworths and eight and a half years as CEO.

“Brad has led a remarkable turnaround and transformation of the Group. He has engendered a Customer 1st Team 1st culture, worked to strengthen existing businesses and build digital, eCommerce and analytics capabilities that are seen by our peers as world leading. Most importantly, he has built a team of amazing calibre. Woolworths Group has been fortunate to have Brad as its leader and he has indeed helped us to be better together. The test of any CEO is to leave the business in much better shape than when they started. On that simple metric, history will judge Brad to have been one of Woolworths Group’s finest leaders,” said Woolworths Group chair Scott Perkins.

Amanda Bardwell, currently managing director of WooliesX, will take over from Banducci. It represents a significant change for the retailer, given WooliesX’s focus on e-commerce, technology, media and data. Before joining Woolies, Banducci had spent 14 years at the Boston Consulting Group (and a four-year stint as CEO of Cellarmasters).

“Amanda is a proven leader, business builder and modern retailer. Most recently, under her leadership, WooliesX has gone from infancy in 2015 to a $7 billion market leading business. Amanda is highly respected throughout the organisation and I know, like Brad, will live our purpose and work hard to achieve Woolworths Group’s full potential,” said Perkins.

The timing of Banducci’s retirement is especially ironic given his outburst at the ABC’s Grigg, where he seemed to suggest because Rod Sims, former boss of the competition regulator, had retired, his views were no longer relevant.

 

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Regardless, Banducci has left Woolies in rude financial health. Its Group earnings before interest and tax for the first half of the financial year were up 3.3 per cent to nearly $1.7 billion and its group sales were up 4.4 per cent to $34.6 billion. Its ecommerce sales stood at nearly $4 billion — up 17.8 per cent year-on-year.

“In Australian Food, H1 sales increased 5.4 per cent (Q2: 4.5 per cent) and EBIT increased 9.9 per cent with around two-thirds of Australian Food EBIT growth attributable to WooliesX (including eComX, Cartology and Services). eComX sales grew 21.3 per cent in the half due to strong growth in our Same Day offers with eComX DAP up 85 per cent driven by pick and delivery process optimisation and increased scale,” said Banducci.

“WooliesX H1 total sales increased 27.5 per cent as we continued to provide more convenient options for customers with Direct to boot and Same Day propositions driving online growth. Improvement in fulfilment capabilities led to B2C Same Day fulfilment mix reaching 43 per cent in Q2, with 85 per cent of orders fulfilled within 24 hours of order placement.

“Cartology revenue increased 14.6 per cent in H1 supported by growth in sponsored search through Cartology Promoted Products. WooliesX H1 F24 DAP & EBIT increased 132.3 per cent to $168 million, with the DAP & EBIT margin increasing by 186 bps to 4.1 per cent driving approximately two-thirds of Australian Food EBIT growth,” he added.




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