Wesfarmers reconfirms guidance

Wesfarmers' chief executive says the company is performing in line with its profit guidance so far this financial year and its retail businesses are continuing to grow.

Richard Goyder told Wesfarmers' annual general meeting in Perth on Wednesday that the company was performing in line with the outlook statement it made at its full year results.

He said Wesfarmers' insurance and retail business, which includes Coles, Target and Bunnings, has had a good start to 2012/13.

"Our retail businesses continue to achieve good transaction growth and provide better value for customers, while our insurance business has to date benefited from improved underwriting performance and lower claims experience," he said.

However, he said the company's industrial businesses have had a mixed start to fiscal 2013.

Its resources businesses had been affected by significantly lower commodity prices and its industrial and safety division had experience a slowdown in some of its markets.

But Wesfarmers' chemicals, energy and fertilisers division had been trading well.

Wesfarmers made a profit of $2.1 billion for the year to June 30, an 11 per cent increase on the $1.9 billion from the previous year.

Mr Goyder said Wesfarmers was hopeful that the company's retail businesses would benefit from stronger trading conditions for Christmas.

"We are hopeful for a positive trading outcome in the retail businesses during the important Christmas period," he said.

For the remainder of the financial year, Wesfarmers would focus on innovation to meet the needs of its customers, managing costs and providing safe workplaces for its employees, Mr Goyder said.

"Our strong balance sheet and commercial capabilities mean we will continue to invest capital and grow our existing businesses, while, as always, continuing to look for further opportunities to create value for our shareholders," he said.

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