Wesfarmers posts strong retail sales growth

Wesfarmers’ retail sales results for the third quarter of 2016 show strong sales growth for Coles, Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks.

Managing Director Richard Goyder said the sales performance during the quarter was generally pleasing in a period that included an earlier Easter.

“Our retail businesses remain focused on implementing strategies aimed at providing customers with stronger value, great service and compelling products through enhanced physical store networks and digital platforms,” he said.

Headline food and liquor sales for the quarter were $7.5 billion, an increase of 5.9 per cent. Food and liquor sales for the financial year to date have grown 5.6 per cent to $24.2 billion.

Food and liquor sales from comparable stores increased 4.9 per cent and comparable stores food sales were up 4.9 per cent for the quarter – increases of 4.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively, when adjusting for the early Easter.

Food and liquor price deflation for the quarter stood at two per cent, and 1.4 per cent for YTD.

“Our customers are our focus,” Coles Managing Director John Durkan said. “Our continued delivery on ‘everyday value’ is highlighted by price drops on products important to the family basket, such as roast chicken, Colgate Toothpaste and Kleenex tissues.”

Mr Durkan added that liquor continued to progress in line with expectations, but that there was continued room for improvement in its customer offering.

Total Coles Express sales, including fuel, came to $1.4 billion for the quarter, a decrease in sales volumes of 8.9 per cent, with YTD sales down 8.5 per cent to $5.1 billion. Low fuel prices continue to offset growth in convenience store sales.

Headline fuel volume sales were down 6.3 per cent, and comparable fuel volumes decreased 10.1 per cent. For the year thus far, headline fuel volume sales have fallen 2.4 per cent, with comparable fuels volumes down 5.8 per cent.

In contrast, convenience sales have risen 12.9 per cent, with comparable store sales up 8.1 per cent. YTD convenience sales have increased 12 per cent, while comparable store sales were higher at eight per cent.

In the period, Coles Express expanded its network, opening six new stores, bringing its total number of stores to 687.

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