Wesfarmers has Coles supermarket group growth plan strategy

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th November 2015

SupermarketOutgoing Wesfarmers Chairman Bob Every has said the diversified conglomerate is well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities with a strong balance sheet backing the business.


The move to grow comes as Wesfarmers achieved a net profit after tax of AUD$2.4 billion for the 2015  financial year. This was an underlying increase of 3.8 per cent when excluding discounted operations and non-trading items.


It also come after Coles recently announced combined food and liquor sales of AUD$7.6 billion for the first quarter of the 2016 financial year. This was a 4.7 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period.


Speaking at his last Annual General Meeting held Thursday 12 November 2015, Mr Every reflected on the successful position Wesfarmers has found itself in since acquiring the Coles Group in 2007.


“The Coles turnaround story is now well known so I don’t need to re-tell it, but I think it’s fair to say the overwhelming majority of people now agree the decision was a right one,” Every said.


“The company has executed the turnaround strategy well, and we are now more strongly positioned than ever.”


Although growth specifics were not revealed, Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder used his AGM speech to discuss the strong start to the 2016 financial year Coles has experienced.


“Coles has made a strong start to the 2016 financial year, reflecting the ongoing execution of Coles’ value-led strategy, improvements to its fresh offer and the contributions from new and re-furbished stores,” Goyder said.


Every also indicated that the other retail arms of Wesfarmers, especially Bunnings, OfficeWorks and Kmart, continue to produce positive results.


“All  of our retail businesses remain focused on delivering increased value, better service and improved ranges to customers with preparations for the Christmas trading period well progressed,” Goyder said.


The success on Wesfarmers’ retail front has however generally not carried over to its resource investments Goyder acknowledged.