Coles reports “record” Chrismas boost for Q2

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 1st February 2011

Mother shopping with childWesfarmers released its second-quarter figures for Coles yesterday, reporting comparable food and liquor store sales growth of 6.6% in Q2, and food and liquor sales of $7 billion – a 6.7% increase on Q2 last year.

The company’s Q2 results for last year included sales figures for the 22 Coles supermarkets which have now been transferred to Foodworks, which the company said will continue to dampen comparisons between year-to-year sales growth until the third quarter of 2011.

Total figures for the 2011 financial year so far are a sales growth of 6.4% and headline sales of $13 billion.

The results make the sixth consecutive quarter in which Coles has pipped rival Woolworths in comparable-store sales growth – 6.8% to Woolworths’ 6.3%.

Coles Managing Director, Ian McLeod, said he was very pleased with the sales result given virtually flat store space growth during the period.

“The second quarter result was capped off with a record Christmas sales period for Coles food and liquor, with 15.5 million customers coming through our store check-outs during the Christmas week alone,” he said.

“Coles succeeded in attracting thousands of new customers to our stores in the lead up to Christmas by offering a broader Christmas range, high quality fresh produce and lower prices. As a result, we achieved double digit headline sales growth in the Christmas week.”

McLeod said Coles had now recorded ten consecutive quarters of comparable store sales growth, which he said gave encouragement to the strength of the turnaround so far, and the progress being made on the roll-out of key business initiatives, including over 600 stores now on easy ordering.

“This sales result shows that encouraging progress has been made as we pass the half way point of our five year turnaround strategy but considerable work remains to deliver consistently well for our customers right across the store network,” he said.

Four new Coles Express sites were opened during the quarter, making a total of 624 locations. The company reported headline convenience sales growth of 1.4%, with key product categories such as ice cream and drinks impacted by the cool and wet weather brought by the La Nina event.