Coles Boosts Wesfarmers Profits

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th February 2010

Wesfarmers yesterday (18 February) posted a sluggish profits gain, boosted by the performance of its Coles supermarket business.The coal-to-groceries conglomerate said that profits in the first six months of the year edged up 1% to A$879m. Sales for the period, ended 31 December, increased to A$26.53bn, up from A$26.36 last year.

Wesfarmers said that its Coles supermarket unit had booked a strong sales performance.

Revenue from its Coles supermarket business was A$15.16bn, compared to A$14.62bn for the half-year of last year.

Like-for-like food and liquor sales rose 6% and total food and liquor sales increased 7.5% to A$12bn, in spite of the economic downturn.

Coles’s earnings before interest, tax and corporate overheads increased to A$486m, up from A$431m previously.

“Performance across the retail business was strong, with earnings increasing 22.6% compared to the previous corresponding period,” Wesfarmers said in a statement.

“The Coles division’s performance over the period was pleasing. This result reflects the significant amount of work under way on the long-term turnaround of that business.”

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