Coles Liquor has reported sales remaining elevated during the first half of FY22, with comparable sales growth of 1.8%, cycling the COVID-19 related sales growth in the prior corresponding period of 15.1%.
Liquor sales revenue was $2billion for the half, an increase of 2.7% on the prior corresponding period, with comparable sales growing by 1.8%, and 16.9% on a two-year basis. For the second quarter, Liquor sales revenue increased by 2.8% with comparable sales growing by 2.1% and 15.2% on a two-year basis.
The announcement follows Endeavour Group reporting sales of $6.3 billion in the first half of FY22, its first six months trading as an independent business, down 0.3% due to the impact of COVID-19. Endeavour’s retail business delivered sales of $5.7 billion in the first half of FY22, slightly behind what it described as the “exceptionally strong sales” in H1 FY21 and up 18.4% on a two-year basis.
The re-opening of on-premise venues in the second quarter led to a softening of liquor sales for Coles Liquor prior to strong trade over the Christmas period. eCommerce continued to perform strongly with sales growth of 60% and penetration of 4.8% in the first half.
“Spirits, RTD and wine performed strongly at the category level, supported by recent range activity in key growth products including gin and seltzers, and trending wine categories such as lighter red varietals and rose,” the retailer reported.
“Complementing range activity, Exclusive Liquor Brand (ELB) and local product contribution grew strongly with more than 470 net new local SKUs added and more than 230 ELB lines receiving awards in the half. This included Smithy’s winning the Australian Lager of the Year award at the Melbourne International Beer Competition and the Armada Dark Rum winning the Dominican Rum of the Year award at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition.”
Coles said sales growth for the half was driven by strong eCommerce sales, with Liquorland the strongest performing banner.
Strategic investments in eCommerce capacity continued during the half with the launch of a fourth eCommerce dark store in NSW, which supported strong eCommerce sales growth of 60% and penetration of 4.8% in the first half, compared to 3.0% in the prior corresponding period.
Renewal activity continued across all three banners with 97 renewals completed during the half while Coles said its new Black & White Liquorland format performed strongly and supported strengthening customer store experience metrics.
Coles Group sales revenue overall was $20.6 billion, an increase of 1% in 1H22, and 9.2% on a two-year basis despite cycling
significantly elevated COVID-19 related sales in the prior corresponding period.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said: “I would like to thank our team members, suppliers, community partners and state and federal governments for their incredible efforts during the latest waves of Delta and Omicron, and the flood related road and rail recovery operation for Western Australia, which have been highly disruptive.”