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Wesfarmers Results See Bunnings Workers Looking For Dividend

Media release: FIRST Union
Thursday August 16, 2012

Strong Wesfarmers Results Sees Bunnings Workers Looking For Dividend

News that Bunnings’ parent company in Australia has posted excellent profits today will be welcomed by their New Zealand workforce currently in negotiations for a wage rise, the retail workers’ union said.

Wesfarmers full year earnings, released a short time ago in Perth, showed the company posted an 11% increase in net profit to $2.1 billion AUD. Operating revenue and sales were both up within the Bunnings division. Wesfarmers owns the Bunnings home improvement stores in New Zealand.

“The New Zealand shop workers who helped Bunnings NZ contribute to these good profits are looking for a bit of that wealth to be shared in current wage talks,” said Maxine Gay, FIRST Union Retail Secretary.

“Even in the peak of the recession, as high-end and luxury goods retailers took a backward step, DIY and homeware stores continued to do well as customers sought out lower cost goods.”

“Today’s results from Australia followed a good performance by the New Zealand division last year, which recorded an operating profit (before tax and finance costs) of $19 million.”

The before tax and finance costs profit figure was the more relevant guide for the NZ operation, given $16 million was interest on related party loans within Wesfarmers, Maxine Gay said.

“Today’s profit announcement from Wesfarmers shows Bunnings New Zealand is in a comfortable position to reward its workforce for their hard work and contributions to the company’s success,” Maxine Gay said.

The National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces in October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST. The union represents 27,000 people working in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport. http://firstunion.org.nz

ENDS

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