Coles and Bunnings smash quarterly sales

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Coles has increased sales by 5.9% to $7.5 billion in the latest quarter.

And its Wesfarmers stablemate Bunnings ramped up sales by 11% to $2.6 billion.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder says sales performance of the group’s retail businesses was driven by strong growth in Coles, Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks.

Total group sales at Australia’s largest private employer were $13.855 billion, up 5.6%.

“Our retail businesses remain focused on implementing strategies aimed at providing customers with stronger value, great service and compelling products through enhanced physical store networks and digital platforms,” says Goyder.

The Coles result was helped by a record number of transactions over Easter.

Comparable food and liquor store sales increased 4.9% and comparable food store sales increased 4.9% for the third quarter.

Food and liquor price deflation was 2% during the quarter, bringing food and liquor price deflation to 1.4% for the financial year so far.

The Coles result is well ahead of its main rival Woolworths where sales are flat as the supermarket group goes through a painful restructure.

Coles managing director John Durkan says he rise in sales reflects an unwavering commitment to deliver trusted value to customers through lower prices.

“Our customers are our principal focus,” says Durkan.

Coles opened four supermarkets during the quarter and closed three, for a national total of 783 supermarkets.

Sales at Kmart increased 17.9% to $1.1 billion with comparable store sales up 15.2%.

Officeworks sales were up 5.6% to $512 million, with strong sales during the critical back-to-school trading period.

However, sales at Target were up only 2.3% to $678 million. But comparable store sales, when adjusting for an early Easter, were down 0.8% on the back of lower sales in womenswear and underwear.

Target is now part of a new Department Stores division. Wesfarmers is currently unwinding deals with suppliers which made Target’s earnings look $21 million better than they should have been.