Metcash warns on 2014 profits

When we reviewed Metcash’s full-year result, on 25 Jun 13 (Avoid – $3.74), we wrote that ‘underlying earnings per share will struggle to maintain their current level at 32.6 cents’. So we weren’t surprised when new chief executive Ian Morrice said at last week’s annual general meeting that he expected an underlying earnings contraction ‘in the high single digits in the current year’. The AGM presentation referred to low consumer confidence, due to instability from the election, the exchange rate and house prices. The food and grocery sector, in particular, is being driven by a ‘cost-conscious consumer’ and ‘high...

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