Wesfarmers was pleased to report a 16.2 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $2.4 billion, from continuing operations and excluding significant items, for the past financial year, which was a testament to the dedication of team members and leaders across the Group.
Our directors determined to pay a final, fully-franked ordinary dividend of 90 cents per share, bringing total full-franked ordinary dividends for the full year to $1.78 per share.
In addition, our directors have recommended a $2 per share return of capital to our shareholders. This $2.3 billion return of surplus capital reflects our commitment to efficient capital management and our focus on providing a satisfactory return to shareholders.
Following these distributions, Wesfarmers will still retain considerable balance sheet strength, and the flexibility to manage a range of economic scenarios while also continuing to invest for future growth. Our balance sheet was further strengthened by the issuance of $1 billion sustainability-linked bonds, the first of its kind in Australia, which was met with strong demand.
Our net profit was underpinned by a strong performance from Bunnings, Kmart Group and Officeworks. The Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers division again produced a solid operating performance and the Industrial and Safety division improved the performance of all its business units.
At the Group level, we grew revenue by 10 per cent to $34 billion with Bunnings revenue up 12.5 per cent to $17 billion as we continued to adapt to our customers' changing needs. At Kmart Group, revenue was 8.3 per cent higher at $10 billion.
We have also achieved all critical approvals for the Mt Holland lithium project and with our joint venture partner SQM, we have commenced construction and first production of lithium hydroxide is expected in the second half of the 2024 calendar year.