By Andrew Starke

Wesfarmers Limited today (Jul 26) announced its retail sales results for the fourth quarter and 2010 financial year with its Coles supermarket division delivering solid sales growth.

Early feedback from analysts suggested Coles had trumped retail rival Woolworths, which released its results last week.

Coles’ fourth-quarter results showed a 4.2 percent rise on a comparable basis, compared with 1.8 percent at Woolworths while, over the full financial year, Coles’ headline food and liquor sales rose 5.6 percent, compared to its rivals 5.1 percent.

Wesfarmers MD, Richard Goyder, said the retail divisions’ sales performance for the year was solid overall, especially given the positive impact of the Australian Government stimulus payments on sales in the prior corresponding period.

“Good progress continues to be made on growth strategies across the Group’s retail businesses, with customers responding well to improvements in product range, value and service,” he said.

“Over the last 12 months, our retail businesses have established or reinforced sound business platforms and have strategies in place to further improve the customer experience. This leaves the Group well placed for the 2011 financial year.”

The Coles division reported solid sales for the year, underpinned by strong customer growth, as it completed the first phase of its turnaround program.

Total Coles’ food and liquor sales for the financial year were $23.6 billion, up 5.6 percent on the prior corresponding period, with comparable food and liquor store sales growth of 5.0 percent.

Total Coles’ food and liquor sales for the fourth quarter were $5.9 billion, up 4.2 percent, with comparable food and liquor store sales growth of 4.2 percent.

Coles Managing Director, Ian McLeod, said a positive customer response to Coles’ focus on quality, service and value had driven continued growth in food and liquor sales.

“As we enter the second phase of our turnaround strategy, this is a pleasing sales result for Coles,” McLeod said.

“During the fourth quarter, Coles opened one new supermarket and six new liquor stores.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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