Woolworths smashes Coles in supermarket sales growth

Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Woolworths has confirmed its superior position against Coles for sales growth at its supermarkets.

In the latest market update, Australian food sales at Woolworths were up 4.7% to $9.63 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Like for like sales were 4.9%.

At the Wesfarmers-owned Coles, headline food and liquor sales for the first quarter were $7.97 billion, up 1.5% on the same three months last year.

However, Coles comparable food and liquor sales increased just 0.4% and comparable food sales were up 0.3% for the quarter.

The first quarter numbers from Woolworths:

Source: Woolworths

The latest numbers continue the strong run from 2017. Woolworths reported a 4.5% rise Australian food sales to $36.37 billion over the year with the fourth quarter the strongest at 7.2%. Comparable sales increased by 3.6% for the 12 months.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says the good sales momentum from the second half of 2017 continued into 2018.

“While we are pleased with the progress during the quarter, there remains much more to do with our focus now firmly on the important Christmas trading period,” he says.

“Our focus for the remainder of FY18 is to build on the progress we made in the first quarter.

“As we move into the Christmas trading period, our team is energised and excited about creating a positive festive season shopping experience for all our customers, across all our businesses and all of our stores.”

He says a focus on improving digital customer experience resulted in strong double-digit online sales growth.

Average prices at Woolworths fell by 2.4%, mainly in fruit and vegetables, compared to the same quarter last year.

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy?

BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future.

Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.