Australians stocked up on pasta, tinned foods and toilet paper in March but by June and July our shopping habits had changed in a smelly way, according to Coles’ (COL.AX) full-year update.
“As social distancing eased towards the end of the period, customer demand again evolved with signs of increased demand for home entertaining,” Coles said.
“[That resulted] in uplifts in categories such as gourmet cheese and flowers.”
However, Victoria’s restrictions have taken shopping habits in that state back to those seen earlier in the year.
Coles on Tuesday described this last year of business as its “greatest test” in its hundred years of operations, as it faced fires, bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic.
It posted a full-year profit increase of 5.7 per cent, largely due to a huge increase in supermarket spending. That took it to a net profit of $951 million, up from $900 million.
However, its statutory results were down 31.8 per cent to $978 million, largely due to earnings it lost from its Wesfarmers demerger.
Retail sales were up 6.9 per cent to $37.41 billion and liquor sales were up 20 per cent, with Coles CEO Stephen Cain ascribing this to Australians stuck at home, rather than “out at pubs and clubs”.
Online sales revenue jumped 18.1 per cent.
"Trading increased significantly in the latter stages of the third quarter as customers began pantry stocking in advance of Covid-19 social distancing measures being introduced," Coles said in its statement.
"The associated transition to in-home consumption supported elevated trade through to the end of the year."
Liquor sales surged by 20 per cent in the final three months of the financial year.
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