Coles has reported its third quarter results with total group sales revenue of $9.7bn, up 6.5 per cent on last year’s third quarter and liquor sales revenue increasing by 2.6 per cent to $801m.
Gross retail sales increased by 2.4 per cent to $803m and comparable sales grew by 1.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
Liquor returned to sales revenue growth in the third quarter with the business no longer cycling on-premise restrictions in the prior corresponding period. Sales growth was driven by continued growth in eCommerce of 28.9 per cent as well as growth in the Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) portfolio of 15.2 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period.
Liquorland continued to be the strongest performing banner with 39 Black & White renewals completed during the quarter, while RTD remains the strongest performing category.
Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain said: “At a time when cost of living pressures are mounting for many customers, the unique combination of Australia’s largest own brand range, hundreds of dropped and locked prices, thousands of weekly specials, free Masterchef cookware and Flybuys points has successfully driven sales and volume. Pleasingly we saw some modest improvement in supply chain availability however there is still more to do.
“As I hand over the reins of this iconic, and now ‘essential’ 109-year old company to Leah Weckert on Monday, I am proud of what has been achieved for all our stakeholders over the last five years since demerger. Customers rate Coles as one of Australia’s most trusted brands, and our millions of direct and indirect shareholders have benefited from upper quartile returns.
“For our team and community, Coles is a more diverse and inclusive organisation, with sustainability credentials that have been recognised globally. The technology capability of Coles and our partners will continue to accelerate, with our first automated DC, the biggest single capital investment in Coles’ history, a real milestone.
“I would like to thank everyone at Coles Group, including Coles Express, and our various partners, for their support and wish them continued success. I know that the best is yet to come.”
In the ELB portfolio, Coles said it added 19 new products during the quarter including Billson’s Sour Blueberry Vodka Mixed Drink in the RTD category and Muff Gin and Vodka in the Spirits category.
Coles said its sales revenue was also impacted by inflation as a result of supplier-led cost price increases in the third quarter, following the February excise increase.
As a result, the group reported that Liquor maintained its strong focus on value with many customers moving into ‘Lower for Longer‘ offers towards the end of the quarter. Furthermore, Coles said: “ELB participation continued to strengthen throughout the quarter as customers looked for good value products.”
During the quarter, Coles Liquor completed 41 store renewals, including its milestone 400th Black and White Liquorland store. Two new stores were opened and one closed, taking the total network to 941 Liquor stores.