Coles Liquor is benefiting from more focus on the problem division, says Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder.
Wesfarmers stated that Coles’ same store food and liquor revenuewas up 3.5 per cent in the third quarter, after correcting for the inclusion of New Year’s Eve in the prior period and the timing of the Easter holiday.
Online trade paper, The Shout, reported that with the liquor business stripped out, Coles’ food increased a stronger 3.9 per cent for the period, but Goydersaid he was not troubled by this discrepancy.
“I’m not too worried about the drag on sales growth, because some of the sales we’ve been having in liquor haven’t been particularly profitable sales,” Goyder said.
“I’m not as concerned with that as I am improving fundamentally the profit of the liquor business.”
Overall sales for the third quarter were $6.7 billion, up 3.9 per cent on the last year. Food and liquor revenue were up 4.7 % to $21.7 bn for the year to date.
“[The Liquor business is] about 10 % of Coles’ sales and half of that in terms of profit,” Goyder said.
“Ultimately we’d want it to be carrying its weight so the profitability’s got to be improved, that’s through stronger stores, improved mix, better pricing.”
“It’s getting more attention at the moment... and we’re making some steady progress, I think Andrew Charlton and the team are doing some very good work on it.”