By Ian Neubauer

Wesfarmers has attributed record profit figures to revenue contributions from the Coles Group of companies.

Wesfarmers reported $601 million profit for the six months ended December 31. The figure represents a 53 per cent increase on profits earned in the corresponding period in 2006 and includes for the first time revenue earned from Coles. Wesfarmers acquired Coles for $18.2 billion on November 23.  

Westfarmers said revenue from the Coles liquor businesses — comprising 1st Choice Liquor, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and a string of licensed hotels — increased seven per cent over the same period in 2006, but that performance remained “below acceptable” benchmarks.

“With the Christmas/New Year period behind us, the transformation of the Coles division is now underway,” Wesfarmers said in its half-yearly report.

“This process will accelerate with the arrival in May 2008 of Ian McLeod as managing director but, as advised at the time of announcing his appointment, the company will be progressing strategies in a number of areas well before then.”

Wesfarmers is scheduled to open seven new 1st Choice outlets prior to June 30.

Wesfarmers shares dropped 99 cents to $39.00 since the release of the company’s half-yearly profit figures earlier this week.

The Shout Team

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

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