The Coles Group has reported its financial results for the first-half of 2022, with liquor sales revenue of $2bn for the half, an increase of 2.7 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
Comparable liquor sales grew by 1.8 per cent on the PCP and 16.9 per cent on a two-year basis, and for the second quarter, Liquor sales revenue increased by 2.8 per cent with comparable sales growing by 2.1 per cent and 15.2 per cent on a two-year basis.
The group said that liquor sales growth for the half was driven by strong eCommerce sales with Liquorland the strongest performing banner.
Spirits, Ready-To-Drink (RTD) and Wine performed strongly at the category level, supported by recent range activity in key growth products including gin and seltzers, and trending wine categories such as lighter red varietals and rosé.
Coles said: “Significant progress was made during the half against Liquor’s strategy, underpinned by investments in team, systems, eCommerce and formats. Improving customer metrics in service, value, range, and store experience were supported by investments in customer service, particularly leading into the peak Christmas trading period, and a focus on delivering trusted value through lowering prices for longer.
“Strategic investments in eCommerce capacity continued during the half with the launch of a fourth eCommerce dark store in New South Wales which supported strong eCommerce sales growth of 60 per cent and penetration of 4.8 per cent in the first half, compared to 3.0 per cent in the prior corresponding period. Transformative investments in core IT systems to support differentiation and growth over the long-term also commenced during the half.”
In addition the group reported that renewal activity continued across all three banners with 97 renewals completed during the half while the new Black and White Liquorland format “performed strongly and supported strengthening customer store experience metrics”. Optimisation of the Liquor store network remained a focus with seven new stores opened and five stores closed, taking the total Liquor network to 931 sites.
Speaking on the group’s overall performance, Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain, said: “I would like to thank our team members, suppliers, community partners and state and federal governments for their incredible efforts during the latest waves of Delta and Omicron, and the flood related road and rail recovery operation for Western Australia which have been highly disruptive. I would also like to thank our customers for their support during periods of reduced product availability in store which is now improving on the Eastern seaboard.
“Strategic progress continues and we are very excited that the biggest automation projects in Coles’ history, Witron and Ocado, will open next year (2023) to further enhance efficiencies and the range and service we can offer to inspire customers.”