Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Coles achieves ‘satisfactory’ first-quarter sales growth

Coles’ headline food and liquor sales for the first quarter of financial year 2017 were $7.9 billion, up 2.9 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Comparable food and liquor store sales increased 1.8 per cent and comparable food store sales were up 1.7 per cent for the quarter. Food and liquor price deflation reduced to one per cent for the period as the deflationary pressure from produce abated.

Coles Managing Director John Durkan said the comparable sales growth achieved in the quarter was satisfactory and that current market conditions confirmed the importance of the retailer’s customer-led strategy.

“Coles now has approximately 4,000 items on ‘every-day value’ as we continue to lower the cost of the weekly shop, and fresh remains a key sales driver as fresh participation growth accelerated through the quarter relative to the prior year,” he said.

“In our food business, we have seen a change in market conditions over the past year. Market growth has slowed, while at the same time there has been an increase in competitive intensity. Despite these changes in market conditions, our focus on the customer will not waver.

“Our ambition to be Australia’s best food retailer means that we will continue to invest in improving our customer offer year after year to deliver sustainable long-term growth. Our strategy also allows flexibility to respond during periods of elevated competition to ensure that we retain the trust of our customers for offering compelling value, coupled with market-leading service and quality.”

Coles opened four supermarkets and closed three during the quarter, resulting in a total of 788 supermarkets at the end of the period. Nine supermarkets were renewed during the quarter, with more than 50 renewals planned for FY17.

The liquor division also continued to improve its store network, opening eight new stores and closing four stores during the quarter. At the end of the period, Coles had a total of 869 liquor stores and 89 hotels.

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