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Coles 1Q Total Supermarket Sales Rise 1.8%

   By Mike Cherney 
 

SYDNEY--Australian grocer Coles Group Ltd. said fiscal first-quarter supermarket sales rose and that it remains optimistic for the holiday period, with Covid-19 lockdowns ending and consumer savings at record highs.

Coles said total supermarket sales rose 1.8% on-year to 8.6 billion Australian dollars (US$6.5 billion) in the first quarter, which ended on Sept. 26. Same-store supermarket sales rose 1.4%, the company said. Compared to two years ago, total supermarket sales were 11.9% higher and same-store supermarket sales were 11.1% higher.

Total liquor sales increased 2.6% in the quarter compared to last year, while its convenience-store unit posted a total sales decline of 10.1%.

Overall, total group sales in the quarter were A$9.75 billion, a rise of 1.5% compared to last year.

Looking ahead, Coles said that same-store supermarket sales in the first four weeks of the fiscal second quarter were broadly in-line with the first quarter. It said current fuel volumes were impacting profits at its convenience-store unit, but said volumes are expected to recover in the second half of the year as consumer behavior normalizes and mobility increases.

It added that Covid-19 costs are expected to peak in October and then moderate in November and December due to recent changes in isolation policies, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria states.

Earlier in the week, Coles's chief rival Woolworths Group Ltd. said first-quarter sales in its main Australian food division rose nearly 4% to about A$12.3 billion, as lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria states forced consumers to spend more time at home.

 

Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 27, 2021 18:08 ET (22:08 GMT)

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