Annual profits at Coles, Australia’s second-largest grocer, have jumped as the retailer’s work on value boosted sales.

Coles booked EBIT of A$1.53bn (US$1.4bn) for the year to the end of June, up 13% on the year. The improved profits came on the back of a 5.5% increase in headline sales to A$28.1bn. Comparable-store sales were up 4.3%.

The retailer said the “transformation” of its supply chain continued and insisted “operational efficiencies” had helped the business invest in value.

Coles said Australian consumers were “focused on value” but said its offers were “resonating” with shoppers. It said it had “recorded strong volume growth”, particularly in fresh categories.

The retailer, which had 2,294 supermarkets, convenience shops and liquor stores at the end of June, boosted its network of each type of outlet during the year.

Coles took its convenience-store estate from 627 shops to 636 and sales from the outlets increased 1.5%. However, comparable-store sales dipped 0.8%. Nevertheless, comp sales grew 0.8% in the fourth quarter thanks to more “targeted” promotions and the extension of Coles “Down Down” price campaign to the smaller stores.

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