WES - Wesfarmers
Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES) is an Australian conglomerate company. Due to an aggressive policy of making acquisitions it has many disparate divisions, but it is best known at the moment for being the owner of the Australian retail company Coles Group, which it acquired in 2007. Wesfarmers was first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1985.
Wesfarmers began life in 1914 as a farmer’s co-operative in Western Australia. By the 1940s the co-operative engaged in a diverse range of activities including insurance underwriting, acting as auctioneers and exporting grain and fruit.
In 1985 the co-operative restructured into a public company and changed its name from Westralian Farmers Co-operative to Wesfarmers Limited.
Wesfarmers currently has the following divisions: home improvement and office supplies; coal and energy; industrial and safety; insurance, and the Coles division.
The acquisition of the Coles Group by Wesfarmers means that Wesfarmers now owns one of the two businesses that form Australia’s grocery duopoly, the other being Woolworths Limited. It also means that by revenue, retailing now forms 80-90% of Wesfarmers’ business.
Wesfarmers HQ is in Perth, Australia.
Profits for 2008 were AUD$1.05 billion.
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