Grocery and liquor wholesaler Metcash believes it can grow the independent retailer sector in the face of intensified competition from the majors, Woolworths and Coles, despite its flagship food business losing market share to them.
Metcash, which also operates wholesale businesses in hardware and car parts, is feeling the pinch of the supermarket wars as well as sustained price inflation across the grocery aisle. On Monday, it revealed its underlying half-year profit fell 1.9 per cent to $119 million. Earnings before interest and tax slumped 6.3 per cent to $193.3 million. Metcash's interim dividend was 9.5¢ a share.