Fuel drives down Coles Express quarterly sales

Coles Express sales, including fuel, for the first quarter of FY16 were $1.8 billion, a decrease of 7.8 per cent on the previous corresponding period, driven by lower fuel prices, according to parent company Wesfarmers’ results released this week.

For the quarter, headline fuel volumes increased 1.4 per cent and comparable fuel volumes decreased 1.8 per cent despite higher investment in fuel offers.

Convenience store sales continued to grow strongly during the quarter, with total convenience store sales up 12.9 per cent and comparable store sales increasing 9.1 per cent.

Following strong network growth in FY15, Coles Express continued to expand its network during the quarter, opening four new sites and bringing the total store network to 666 sites.

Coles’ headline food and liquor sales increased 4.7 per cent to $7.6 billion during the quarter, with growth in customer transactions and fresh participation.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said the continued strong sales performance of the group’s total retail businesses during the quarter was pleasing.

“Good momentum in our retail portfolio continued through the first quarter of the 2016 financial year,” he said. “This was supported by the continued reinvestment of productivity improvements into lower prices, improved customer service, better ranges and further store network optimisation.

“Our retail divisions remain focused on delivering increased value, better service and improved ranges to customers, with actions for the Christmas trading period well advanced.”

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