SYDNEY Aug 20 Australia's Wesfarmers Ltd
reported a 19 percent rise in annual net profit on
Wednesday, underpinned by the disposal of its insurance
underwriting operations and strong sales growth at its Coles
supermarket and Bunnings hardware retail businesses.
The coal-to-retail conglomerate posted net profit of A$2.69
billion ($2.5 billion) in the year to June, up from A$2.26
billion a year ago, beating an average forecast of A$2.4 billion
from 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Wesfarmers said the sale of its insurance underwriting
operations to Insurance Australia Group and the
disposal of its 40 percent interest in gas equipment products
firm Air Liquide WA bolstered after-tax profit by a combined A$1
($1 = 1.0762 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Richard Pullin)