Wesfarmers, which today posted an 8.3% rise in full net profit to $2.44 billion, released numbers showing its supermarket Coles growing faster than competitor Woolworths.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at Coles increased 6.6% to $1.783 billion for the year on revenue growth of 2.2%.
Food and liquor recorded sales growth of 5.3% for the year.
Woolworths is forecasting a flat full year profit when earlier in the year it had been expecting 1.8% growth. The previous result was $2.45 billion.
The major supermarket players are under pressure. The German chain Aldi has grown in Australia mostly at the expense of Metcash’s IGA chain but that’s about to change as the supermarket starts to chip away at the big two players.
At Wesfarmers, CEO Richard Goyder says Coles’ improved sales momentum is a good result in a competitive environment.
“Operational efficiencies supported further investment in lower prices which resulted in growth in customer transactions, basket size and sales density,” says Goyder.
Wesfarmers declared a final dividend of $1.11 a share, bringing the full year dividend to $2 per share, an increase of 5.3%.
Goyder says the company’s retail portfolio, including Kmart, Target and Bunnings, delivered strong earnings growth.
Here is the detail on the performance of each division: