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Coles reports an 8.4% dip in first-half net profits

EditorOliver Gray
Published 27/02/2024, 09:44 am
Updated 27/02/2024, 09:44 am
© Reuters - Coles Group Ltd (ASX:COL) reported an 8.4% decline in its first-half net profit, dropping to $589 million, down from $643 million in the same period the previous year. However, during the six months ending December 31, sales rose by 3% to $22.27 billion, up from $21.63 billion.

When excluding its Express convenience stores sold last year, the nation's second-largest grocery chain reported a 6.8% increase in group sales from continuing operations between June 26 and December 31.

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During this period, supermarket revenue increased by 4.9%, and liquor sales rose by 1.8%. Excluding tobacco, supermarket sales saw a 6.2% rise or a 4% rise on a comparable sales basis. Total supermarket price inflation of 3% in the second quarter was slightly down from the 3.1% seen in July-September.

Group earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by 5.1% to $1.06 billion from the previous year's $1.11 billion. While supermarket earnings saw a 1.6% increase, liquor earnings rose by 5%. However, supermarket margins contracted to 5.1%, lower than the 5.3% reported a year ago.

Coles has maintained its interim dividend at 36¢ per share, to be paid on March 27. The supermarket chain, along with its larger rival Woolworths, will be under scrutiny in Canberra next month, as a Greens inquiry into grocery prices is set to commence. Both Coles and Woolworths are set to appear at the inquiry.

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