Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said the sales performance of the Group’s retail divisions was pleasing, with most businesses demonstrating improved sales momentum in the latest quarter.
Wesfarmers reported improved sales momentum across Officeworks (7.2 per cent sales growth), Kmart (10.2 per cent) and Bunnings Australia and New Zealand (8.9 per cent), while its Target and Bunnings UK and Ireland businesses saw a decline in total sales (two per cent and 6.5 per cent, respectively).
“Sales momentum in Coles continued to improve during the quarter, with headline food and liquor sales growth of 1.9 per cent as the business remained focused on providing customers with the best-possible value, service and quality,” Mr Scott said.
Headline food and liquor sales for the third quarter were $7.8 billion, up 1.9 per cent on the prior corresponding period. Food and liquor sales for the financial year to date increased 1.9 per cent to $25.1 billion.
Coles Managing Director John Durkan said continued improvement in customer satisfaction levels was a highlight for the quarter, “particularly in the areas of customer service, range and availability, which supported continued growth in customer transactions”.
“Online sales growth accelerated in the quarter as we continued to focus on meeting the changing needs of our customers,” he said.
“During the quarter we launched our new brand positioning ‘Good things are happening at Coles’ and our exciting new ‘Sports for Schools’ program, initiatives which will continue to build trust with customers and position us well for long-term growth.”
Coles opened four supermarkets and closed three during the quarter, resulting in a total of 807 supermarkets at the end of it. During the quarter, 12 supermarket renewals were completed, bringing the total to 47 for the financial year to date.
Total Coles Express sales, including fuel, for the quarter were $1.3 billion, a decrease of eight per cent on the prior corresponding period, driven by lower fuel volumes.
For the quarter, headline fuel volumes decreased 14. 6 per cent and comparable fuel volumes decreased 15.9 per cent. Headline convenience store sales increased 0.9 per cent for the quarter and 1.3 per cent on a comparable store basis.
For the financial year to date, convenience store sales increased 0.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent on a comparable store basis. Mr Durkan says convenience store sales continue to be driven by strong growth in the food-to-go category and a compelling everyday value offering.
Coles Express opened five new sites and closed three during the quarter, bringing the total network to 714 sites.