Big shake-up for Woolworths Food

 ·14 Mar 2024

Woolworths Food CEO Zyda Rylands will be replaced by group COO Sam Ngumeni later this year.

Rylands has been with the Woolworths Group for nearly 30 years and will retire at the end of August 2024.

“The Board extends its appreciation to Zyda for her contribution and commitment to the
Woolworths Group over the past 29 years, and for the significant role she has played in growing and
positioning Woolworths Food as an industry-leading food retailer,” the group said.

As part of the succession process, Ngumeni will become the CEO of Woolworths Foods on 1 July 2024.

“Sam is a highly regarded executive with a successful track record across multiple senior roles in the Group over the past 28 years.”

“The Board congratulates Sam on his appointment and looks forward to the contribution he will make to the Food business.”

Ngumeni takes over at a strong point for the group’s food business, which saw turnover and concession sales grow by 8.4% and 7.2% on a comparable store basis, respectively, in its financial results for H1 FY2024.

This was despite elevated load shedding, Avian flu, and the general taxi strike in Cape Town.

Online sales also increased by 46.6% (5.1% of total South African sales), driven by Woolies Dash.

The gross profit margin increased by 0.8% to 24.6%.

However, there was a significant increase in operation expenses of 11.1% due to a rise in operating expenses from new initiatives and higher cost inflation,

Its adjusted operating profit grew by 13% to R1.59 billion, with an operating profit margin of 7.0% for the current period.

Read: How banks could help bring down petrol prices in South Africa

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