AUSTRALIA: Coles delivers slow sales growth
Australia's second largest retailer Coles has delivered weaker than anticipated first quarter results, with sales growth failing to keep pace with inflation.
Coles sales rose by 3.2% during the quarter to A$8.5bn (US$6.5bn), trailing inflation which has increased by 3.9%. Excluding Coles Express, which was hit by high petrol prices, sales increased by 5.1% for the 13 weeks ended 29 October. Sales from non-food businesses rose 2.2%, while comparative sales at its food and liquor outlets rose 3.3% and overall food sales increased 6.3%.
The company reaffirmed its forecast for flat annual earnings this fiscal year as it focuses on its strategic plan to increase sales and earnings by cutting costs and rebranding its stores.
John Fletcher, CEO, said he expected the upward trend in food and liquor sales to continue as strategic initiatives, such as increased service levels in its supermarkets and the conversion of Bi-Lo stores to the Coles brand, boost sales.
"Comparative store sales in Food and Liquor have increased in line with our expectations. This trend is expected to continue as strategic initiatives gain traction, including increased investment in supermarket service levels from this month and the continuing Bi-Lo conversion programme," Fletcher commented.
Fletcher said Coles was gaining market share and the 45 Bi-Lo stores which had been rebranded were showing 7-8% improvement in sales on average.
Shares in Coles Myer, which last month rejected a takeover bid of A$18.2bn from a private equity consortium, dropped by 1.02% following the sales release to A$13.59.
UK retailer Tesco has remained silent on rumours that it is preparing to enter the fray in the sale of Australia's number two retailer Coles Group....
Wesfarmers, one of the suitors for Coles Group, has remained tight-lipped on reports that it tried to raise its stake in the Australian retailer to fend off rival bids....
Australia's largest retailer Woolworths is reportedly in talks with private equity group KKR to join forces and buy Coles Group....
Tesco has remained tight-lipped on fresh reports coming out of Australia that it has formally joined the race to buy local retailer Coles Group....
UK-based Brakes Group has refused to confirm speculation that the company is up for sale....
Wesfarmers, one of the suitors for Coles Group, today (30 April) confirmed the involvement of Archie Norman in the consortium's A$19.7bn (US$16bn) bid to acquire Australia's number two retailer. Norma...
Tesco, the UK's largest retailer, is keeping mum on suggestions that it could team up with Woolworths, Australia's largest retailer, in a bid to buy Coles Group....
Australian discount grocer Franklins has been identified as a potential acquisition target, according to the country's retail analysts....
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