The Coles Group has reported its first quarter results with total group sales revenue up by 1.8 per cent to $8.7bn, with the Liquor business showing comparable sales growth of 0.7 per cent, with strong performance in First Choice.
Overall Coles’ liquor sales revenue for the first quarter was $726m, up 3.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period, with the group saying that comparable sales growth was impacted by the timing of public holidays in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and ACT.
Speaking about the Liquor result, Coles said: “Sales performance was driven by a strong performance in First Choice, supported by the roll-out of the First Choice Liquor Market renewal program, and contributions from Exclusive Liquor Brands, offset by softer trading conditions in Liquorland.
“Growth in Vintage Cellars in the first quarter was largely a result of improvements across the categories of wine and spirits. The first Vintage Cellars trial concept store is on-track to be delivered in the first half of FY20.
“Exclusive Liquor Brands continued to contribute to sales with penetration at 19.1 per cent, an increase of 1.1 percentage points compared to the fourth quarter of last financial year, and improvements across all categories of wine, beer and spirits. A total of 26 Exclusive Liquor Brand lines were launched during the quarter with 136 medals and awards received.”
Coles said it is continuing to enjoy growth in its online liquor business and that planned website upgrades are expected to continue through the remainder of this financial year.
Investment in the Liquor store network continued in the quarter with seven new stores opened and three closed, resulting in a total of 914 retail liquor sites at the end of the period.