The owner of Australian grocer Coles today (20 August) booked a 44% jump in full-year profits, driven by an improved performance at its retail businesses.

Wesfarmers said that profit increased to A$1.54bn (US$1.28bn), up from A$1.06bn last year.

Revenue climbed 52% to A$51bn, from revenue of A$33.6bn in the prior year.

This was the first full year of contribution from the Coles, Target, Kmart and Officeworks, which were purchased at the end of 2007.

Managing director Richard Goyder said the group’s profit increase was a “good result” in a challenging environment.

“We now have exceptional teams in place leading all of our businesses with clear strategies that underpin future growth plans,” he said.

“In particular, the improvement in Coles is very encouraging with its performance reflecting good customer response as we progress through the early stages of the five-year turnaround plan.”

Wesfarmers said that the turnaround at Coles continued to “meet the company’s expectations” with a stronger in-store offer driving increasing customer numbers and basket growth.

Like-for-like food and liquor sales at Coles rose 7.3% in the fourth quarter, and 4.6% over the full year.

Coles total revenue stood at A$28.8bn and underlying earnings before interest and tax rose to A$831m.