A jack of all trades but a Masters of none?

Woolworths chairman Ralph Waters has asked shareholders to be patient with the struggling Masters business. But questions remain over the company's core retail strategy and capital commitments.

Ralph Waters made what seemed like a reasonable defence of Woolworths’ foray into the hardware sector at today’s annual meeting, asking for patience as Woolworths and its US joint venture partner Lowe’s continue to roll out Masters stores in a five-year strategy.

The Woolworths chairman told shareholders that Masters would break even or even make a profit in 2016, and that they should look to the group’s record in building new businesses.

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