Woolworths shares are rallying

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Woolworth shares surged as investors reacted to the retailer’s annual loss of $1.23 billion.

A short time ago, the shares were up 6.6% to $25.83.

Writedowns of more than $4 billion before tax on its hardware business and flat supermarket sales brought the group to its worst loss in 20 years.

However, investors were upbeat about the company’s exit from the loss-making home improvement business, closing the Masters hardware chain and selling off property.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.