Coles post-float results looking up

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th August 2019

Coles CEO Steven Cain has declared that Coles delivered a solid performance in the face of a rapidly changing retail landscape for the financial year that ended 30 June 2019. “It has been a year of substantial change for Coles following the successful demerger and ASX listing from Wesfarmers in November 2018.””

“Consumer behaviours are changing faster than ever, we are heading into the most competitive period in Coles’ history, and there are significant industry wide cost headwinds,” he said.

“With the return to profit growth in our core Supermarkets division we have made a solid start to our four year transformation program. Delivery of our sales growth strategy and the $1 billion Smarter Selling program will be critical to Group EBIT growth.” Cain said.

Here is a summary of the performance by Coles:

▪ Full year Group sales revenue (excluding Fuel sales1 and Hotels) increased by 3.1% to $35.0 billion

▪ Delivered 47th consecutive quarter of Supermarkets comparable sales growth

▪ Supermarkets EBIT growth of 2.2%; Group EBIT down 8.1% due to lower Express fuel volumes and corporate costs associated with being a standalone ASX company

▪ 30% online sales growth generating $1.1 billion in sales revenue, and first operating profit in FY19

▪ Strong cash realisation of 110% and robust balance sheet with net debt position improving to $0.5 billion,
providing significant flexibility for long term growth

▪ The Coles Board has determined a total fully-franked dividend of 35.5 cents per share, comprising a final dividend and a special dividend which covers the period from 28 November 2018 (being the effective date of the demerger from Wesfarmers) to 30 June 2019.

Strategic highlights were as follows:
▪ ASX listed following a successful demerger from Wesfarmers

▪ Strategic refresh to “sustainably feed all Australians to help them lead healthier, happier lives”

▪ Entered into an exclusive partnership with Ocado to bring the world’s leading online grocery website, two automated single pick fulfilment facilities and home delivery solution to Australia

▪ Entered into a partnership with Witron to develop two world class automated distribution centres

▪ Strategic partnerships announced with Optus and SAP (HR, Procurement and Finance) to accelerate technology-led transformation of stores, support centres and supply chain

▪ Commenced the New Alliance Agreement with Viva Energy to restore fuel growth

▪ Entered into an incorporated Joint Venture with Australian Venue Co in relation to Coles’ hotel and retail liquor business in Queensland to focus on liquor retailing
▪ Own Brand penetration reaching 30% at year end with over 1,200 new products launched in FY19

▪ Commenced roll-out of new store formats with Eastgardens in NSW and Clayton, Ardeer and Surrey Hills in Victoria

▪ Progress started on Smarter Selling initiatives with Store Support Centre simplification, transport hubs in Victoria and Western Australia, and wearable technology improving efficiency in store

▪ Improvements in team member safety and engagement scores

▪ $115 million contributed to communities and suppliers through SecondBite, Redkite, Community Bags, FightMND, drought relief and Coles Nurture Fund