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there is e-commerce and there is e-commerce

The Bunnings website attracted on average 13 million visits a month in 2017 and 15 million a month in 2018, even though the retailer did not have an online store at that stage.

 

In 2019, website visits rose to an average of 19 million a month, boosted by the launch of a fully transactional e-commerce site and marketplace.

 

In 2020, website visits grew to more than 30 million a month and the level of interest had remained strong into 2021 ....

I am glad they got it right!!

 

In addition, Bunnings has created more than 750 how-to videos to date for its website and YouTube channel. Bunnings is filming the fourth series of a home renovation show that has helped Australia’s largest home improvement retailer boost sales by inspiring customers to undertake DIY projects, large and small, in their houses and gardens.

Two years ago, Bunnings bought and renovated a home in the Melbourne suburb of Knoxfield to create fresh DIY content for its website and YouTube channel. The home was also used to create a TV series, Make It Yours, which aired on the Seven Network.

 

It still owns the Knoxfield property but sold two other properties renovated in previous seasons soon after filming finished.

 

This year, Bunnings is renovating the homes of Bunnings staff, transforming different rooms and gardens in several houses, rather than renovating a single home, showing customers how to transform their living spaces.

 

 

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Wesfarmers had a presentation at a conference today.. update talking about digital strategy and a few surprises.

 

Bunnings still expanding its footprint and service offering to commercial trades:

• Expanded supply and install product offer for builders

• New trade service desk format and more trailer parking spaces

• Increased PowerPass app functionality and engagement

• Opened new format Adelaide Tools store in Parafield, South Australia (March 2021)

• Agreement to acquire Beaumont Tiles in April 2021 (subject to conditions, including regulatory approval)

 

There is a lot about online marketing: a focus on leveraging data and digital platforms to develop new revenue streams. Including Catch.

Divisional online penetration has been increasing y.o.y. and ranges from 37% for Officeworks (up from 29%), Target at 16% up from 7%, KMart at 8.7% up from 3.7% while Bunnings, at 3.1% from almost nothing, is the laggard. (But I would kind of expect that for hardware)

 

And the Mt Holland lithium project, including mine, concentrator on site and refinery at Kwinana: Wesfarmers’ expected share of total project capital expenditure estimated at approximately $950m

• Indicative construction timeline, subject to approvals:

... Project construction to commence: 2H CY21

... First production from refinery: 2H CY24

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  • 5 weeks later...

Wesfarmers said sales had fallen at some of its retail businesses and growth had slowed at others as they cycled a boom in spending on hardware, technology and homewares at the height of the pandemic last year.

Year on year sales growth had generally moderated and been negative in some months for some businesses, due to elevated activity in the prior year, the company said in a high level trading update released at its annual strategy day on Thursday.

Online growth had moderated as customers returned to bricks and mortar stores and online penetration, ecommerce sales as a percentage of total sales, had fallen but remained above pre COVID levels. For example, Bunnings online penetration had dropped below 2 per cent from 3.1 per cent at the end of December, while gross transaction values at Catch Group had been negative in recent months.

 

Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott did not provide sales figures and did not elaborate on the performance of individual businesses, saying only that the group was experiencing significant volatility in monthly sales results.

.................................xx................xx...............x.x.x.x.....

..........xxx....

 

Rob Scott was confident about the group prospects for growth and happy about the quality of its portfolio following the demerger of Coles, the sale of coal and other assets, derisking Target by closing stores and slashing its cost base, and the restructure of industrial and safety supplier Blackwoods.

We think we have a phenomenal mix of businesses that represent a unique balance between defensiveness and high cash generation and good growth perspectives
,
he said.

Mr Scott and chief financial officer Anthony Gianotti hinted that Wesfarmers, which is cashed up after selling two thirds of its 15 per cent stake in Coles for more than $2 billion, was closer to returning surplus capital to shareholders, saying they were evaluating options to right size the balance sheet and get capital back to investors.

I have consistently said it is unlikely we'll go out and do a really big acquisition, because often big acquisitions are very expensive and not in the best interests of shareholders, Mr Scott told the Financial Review.

In terms of right sizing the balance sheet, we acknowledge that we have plenty of capacity at the moment. We're also not sitting on surplus franking credits, so if we were to get cash back to shareholders in a tax effective way we would need to consider a
capital return
which would require Tax Office approval and shareholder approval and those things take time.

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like a moth to a candle, WES is attracted to retail, and the competitive aspects that implies. SOL could not make a go of it and are probably glad they have found a buyer for their 19.3% stake

Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said the acquisition of API would provide an attractive opportunity to enter the growing health, wellbeing and beauty sector.

If the Proposal is successful, API would form the basis of a new healthcare division of Wesfarmers and a base from which to invest and develop capabilities in the health and wellbeing sector.

The combination of Wesfarmers and API is a compelling opportunity to capitalise on APIs strengths and positioning in these markets while drawing upon Wesfarmers capabilities in retail and distribution, our strong balance sheet and our willingness to invest in our businesses for growth over the long term.

Wesfarmers supports the community pharmacy model, including the pharmacy ownership and location rules, and considers the API relationships with its community pharmacy partners to be one of its key strengths. We see opportunities to build on these relationships and invest to expand ranges, improve supply chain capabilities and enhance the online experience for customers. These investments are expected to strengthen the competitive position of API and its community pharmacy partners, Mr Scott said.

 

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WES making a tilt at API is going to create a shake up in the pharmacy sector, and with health, well-being, and beauty being seen as subsectors in the mix, there are some interesting dynamics. Offerings stretch from prescriptions, OTC medicines, vitamins, right through to perfumes and balms.

 

The $12.6 billion wholesale pharmacy distribution sector is highly concentrated, and the top three players control about 85 per cent of the market. The market leader is EBOS Group (via Symbion), which owns Terry White ChemMart, and accounts for about 45 per cent of the market for PBS medicines. Sigma with about 22 per cent, API is the third largest with 18 per cent, with Clifford Hallam Healthcare and National Pharmacies each accounting for 7.5 per cent.

 

In the pharmacy retail sector, which is estimated to be worth nearly $22 billion according to IBISWorld data, competitors for Priceline Pharmacy are My Chemist Retail Group (Chemist Warehouse), Terry White, other banner group pharmacies and independently owned ones, as well as supermarkets and specialty beauty retailers, including Mecca, Sephora and Adore Beauty.

 

In the beauty salon sector, ClearSkincare competes with Laser Clinics (KKR backed) and recently listed Silk Laser Clinics (SLA) as well as independently owned skin and beauty clinics. And there appear to be a lot of these.

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WES surging .... now $61.40, an all time high.

There has been no other murmurs from other players, with API sitting a few cents above the WES offer at $1.41. Do we expect any, or will a nudge higher of a few cents get the deal across the line?

 

 

Include COL in the calculations ... at $17 ... and WES is a ten bagger for me, and that ignores the periodic capital returns along the way. Mid you, I have held it for yonks.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

API trading very narrowly in the 1.40 to 1.44 range, stubbornly above the WES offer at 1.38.

Is it a waiting gain, will the bid be lifted.... and to how far? $1.45 may not seal it but $1.48 should?! I prefer that WES pays $1.45.

 

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Went to one of the biggest, busiest and most profitable Bunnings in NZ and therefore the entire network this morning. I noticed the timber aisles are barren.

 

Couple of weeks ago I was talking to a guy from Napier. He said normally if he sees two ships waiting to get into port to pick up logs it's unusual. That morning he'd counted twelve!

 

Don't know what is going on but almost certainly, Made in China supply chains are going to be severely disrupted in the near future.

 

Bunnings et al and the punters are going to find out what a pineapple looks like. Lots of projects are going to come to a halt on material and labour shortages. When interest rates rise, watch out for the margin call on the banks.

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Wesfarmers says net profit from continuing operations is up 16.2 per cent to $2.4 billion, on revenue that is up 10 per cent to $33.9 billion. Including discontinued operations the net profit climbed 40.2 per cent to $2.38 billion.

 

Dividend of $0.90 per share on earnings of $2.10 per share. It will also pay a $2.00 per share return of capital equivalent to $2.3 billion.

 

It said lockdowns had hit its start to trade in financial 2022 year to date, with Bunnings sales growth down 4.7 per cent, and Kmart and Target down 14.3 per cent.

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