Coles Express reports first-quarter sales drop

Fuel volumes for Coles Express continued to be affected by competitor site upgrades and a lower number of site openings compared with rivals, according to Wesfarmers’ first-quarter 2017 retail sales results.

Total Coles Express sales, including fuel, were $1.5 billion for the quarter, a decrease of 13.7 per cent on the previous corresponding period. Wesfarmers reports that lower fuel volumes and lower fuel prices drove the sales decline, offsetting continued growth in convenience store sales.

Headline convenience store sales increased 7.4 per cent for the quarter and 3.2 per cent on a comparable-store basis. Improvements in the food-to-go offer and the extension of ‘every-day value’ drove this growth.

Continuation of solid growth in store sales, despite declining fuel volumes, reflected the ongoing investment to improve the convenience shop offer.

For the quarter, headline fuel volumes decreased by seven per cent and comparable fuel volumes were down 10.7 per cent. While these results reflected an improvement on the previous quarter, fuel volumes continued to be affected by competitor site upgrades and a lower number of site openings compared with rivals.

Coles Express continued to expand its network during the quarter, opening two new sites, bringing the total store network to 692 sites.

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