WOOLWORTHS chairman Ralph Waters is stepping down after the company announced a 12.5 per cent slide in its full year profit.

Woolworths made a net profit of $2.15 billion for the year to June 30, down from $2.46 billion in 2013/14.

Mr Waters will leave the company on September 1, to be replaced by veteran company director Gordon Cairns.

Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien blamed the “below expectations” result on the company’s food, liquor and petrol business, which saw “subdued sales growth” in the second half.

“The market environment has changed dramatically with stronger competition and significant shifts in customers’ shopping behaviour,” he said.

Food, liquor and petrol delivered an increase in before-tax earnings of 2.1 per cent on the previous year.

Extracted in full from: news.com.au