Coles publishes outcomes for 2020

According to the retailer's full-year 2020 results, Coles’s full-year sales rose 6.9% to $ 37.4 billion, with sales increasing across all segments.

Steven Cain, CEO of Coles Group, takes note of the updated strategy in June 2019 that helped transform the business.

"Since that time, we have faced a number of unforeseen challenges including drought, devastating bush fires and of course the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic," he says.

"For its part, Coles has become a designated 'essential ministry' that will play an important role during these crises and will also play an important role as the nation recovers and returns to growth."


Supermarket sales for the year were $ 33.0 billion, an increase of 6.8% over the previous year, with like-for-like sales growth of 5.9%.

In the fourth quarter, supermarket sales rose 7.6% and comparable sales growth was 7.1% year over year. Full year EBIT increased 10.7% to $ 1,310 million and the EBIT margin increased 14 basis points to 4%.

The results show that the supermarkets' performance was strong, reflecting the implementation of the updated strategy. In particular, there was strong online growth, increased distribution of the private label and the introduction of tailor-made product ranges, as well as the start of the efficiency program for smarter sales.

According to the report, Coles Online sales rose 18.1% for the year after services were temporarily suspended in March and April during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cole's Own Brand had sales of more than $ 10 billion in the year under review. With over 1,850 new products, sales rose by 9.7%.

Inflation excluding tobacco and fresh was recorded at 1.5% for the year and 3.3% for the fourth quarter. Overall supermarket price inflation was 2.4% for the year and 3.6% in the fourth quarter.


According to the report, spirits sales for the year were $ 3.3 billion, up 8.0% year over year, on like-for-like sales growth of 7.3%.

In the fourth quarter, spirits sales increased 20.3% and comparable sales growth was 20.2% year over year, driven by the strong performance of all three banners.

According to the Coles report, there was strong online sales growth of 40.3% in the year under review. In the fourth quarter, online sales increased more than 70%, partly due to changes in customer preferences regarding online shopping alternatives during COVID-19.

Operations have been reviewed and the company will reset the spirits strategic framework to become simpler and more accessible.

Conversions on the First Choice Liquor Market continue to perform well as the format now expands to 61% of the First Choice network.

ELB posted sales growth of 7.5% for the year and 17.7% for the fourth quarter.

20 new liquor stores were opened and 20 stores closed, leaving a total of 910 liquor stores.

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