Prices up, up again at Coles as inflation hits; new CEO announced
Food prices across supermarket giant Coles jumped 7.7 per cent in the three months to December, with inflation accelerating from earlier in the year as hit packaged goods and dairy prices.
But the good news is that prices have started to moderate in the current quarter, Coles boss Steven Cain said as he presented the company’s half-year results on Tuesday.
It’s his last results briefing, with the grocery giant announcing that the head of its commercial and express divisions, Leah Weckert, will take the reins when Cain steps down in May after five years in the top job.
Revenues across the company rose 3.9 per cent to $20.8 billion for the first half of the 2023 financial year, and profits jumped 11.6 per cent to $616 million.
The group’s supermarkets business saw revenues up 4.6 per cent to $18.8 billion, though sales in its liquor business were down by 2.4 per cent to $1.9 billion compared with the previous half, which was heavily affected by shoppers staying at home because of the pandemic.
Total supermarkets price inflation across all products in its stores hit 7.7 per cent for the second quarter, up from 7.1 per cent in the first quarter, Coles said, explaining that this was driven by “packaged goods inflation including dairy, as a result of increases in the farmgate milk price, and elevated levels of supplier input cost price increase requests, particularly in homecare and pantry”.
Fresh food inflation moderated from 8.8 per cent in the first quarter to 7.1 per cent in the three months to December, as growing conditions improved for a range of produce.
Cain will retire from the company after joining the business in 2018. His tenure included Coles’ demerger from Wesfarmers as well as steering the business through the COVID lockdown years.
The company has declared a 36 cent interim dividend for the first half, up from 33 cents at the same time last year.
More to come.
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Source: Thanks smh.com