Wesfarmers, One Of The Companies Watched For Signs Of Economic Improvement, Turned In Some Good Numbers

Getty/Ian Waldie

A crack has opened in the subdued retail sector with Wesfarmers posting improved supermarket, convenience store and liquor sales of 4.9 per cent in its latest quarterly update, the first big retailer to report after the federal election.

Managing Director Richard Goyder was pleased with the 2013 first quarter sales results and performances from Coles, Bunnings, Officeworks and Kmart.

“Our continued focus on improving merchandise offers and value for customers was reflected in strong transaction and volume growth achieved across our retail businesses,” Goyder said.

Wesfarmers is the first big retailer to report since the Coalition’s win at the September 7 election and many have been looking for a lift in consumer and business confidence since.

Goyder says the retail businesses are now well placed for Christmas trading.

Coles’ food and liquor sales growth for the quarter was 4.4 per cent to $6.9 billion. Fresh produce did well in response to an overall 2.5 per cent cut in prices.

Bunnings recorded total store sales growth of 10.4 per cent to $2.0 billion.

Officeworks’ grew 3.0 per cent to $373 million with good growth in both the store network and online.

Target’s comparable sales performance was below last year declining 5.2 per cent to $789 million but this had been expected. Most of a new management team will be in place for Christmas.

Kmart’s total sales for the quarter were 4.6 per cent above last year. Clothing and home categories did well.


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