Wesfarmers has reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $212m for the half-year ended 31 December 2017. That includes significant items of $1.3bn relating to its UK Bunnings operation, with NPAT not including those at $1.5bn, down 2.7 per cent on the same period last year.

Within the group the revenue for its Coles food and liquor business was $17.1bn, up 1.1 per cent on the prior corresponding period. Headline food and liquor sales growth for the first half was 1.9 per cent, with comparable food and liquor sales growth of 0.9 per cent.

In its report, Wesfarmers said: “Liquor achieved positive comparable sales growth for the second quarter and first half.

“The transformation program continues to improve the customer offer through more competitive pricing, simplified ranges and renewal of the store network.

“Further opportunities remain to enhance the customer experience through greater product innovation, growth of exclusive brands, investment in service and new routes to market.”

Earlier this week TheShout reported that the Liquor Director of the Coles Liquor Group, Greg Davis, told the latest issue of National Liquor News, that the group’s five-year liquor transformation strategy remained on track.

Today’s half-year report also back the turnaround, saying: “The Liquor business will progress with its transformation strategy, with further opportunities available to enhance the customer offer, particularly on range and convenience, and to realise productivity efficiencies across the business.”

The group also highlighted growth in its online business, adding: “Coles Online achieved double digit sales growth during the half6, with growth accelerating in the second quarter6 as further investments were made to improve the customer experience. Coles opened its second dark store in Alexandria, significantly improving fulfilment and delivery capabilities for customers across the New South Wales metropolitan area.

“Coles remains focused on rolling out its Click and Collect offering, with over 800 supermarket and Coles Express sites expected to offer the service by the end of the 2018 financial year.”

As at 31 December 2017, Coles had a total of 806 supermarkets, 894 liquor stores and 88 hotels.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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