Coles Group profit topped $40.5 billion in FY23, but liquor sales revenue of $3.6 billion for the year was flat compared to the prior year.
Sales declined in the first half by 2.4% as the business cycled COVID-19 related on-premise closures and restrictions, before returning to growth of 2.7% in the second half.
Gross retail sales of $3.6 billion for the full year declined by 0.2% and comparable sales declined by 0.7%.
The Liquorland banner was the top performer, supported by the completion of 215 Liquorland Black & White renewals as well as the opening of 35 new stores.
Coles said the RTD category was its strongest performing category.
Exclusive brands boom
Growth in the Exclusive Liquor Brand portfolio continued, with sales revenue increasing by 8.5% for the year and penetration reaching 21% of total sales, which Coles attributed to customers becoming more value conscious throughout the year.
During the period, 259 new ELB and 627 new local lines were added to the portfolio. In addition, the ELB portfolio received
more than 500 awards, including the Tasmanian Gin of the Year trophy for Pure Origin Tasmanian Dry Gin at the Melbourne
International Spirits Competition and Tinnies Pale Ale being awarded the Best English Beer Pale Ale Trophy in the Pale Ale
category, at the World Beer Awards Competition.
Sales revenue also benefited from strong growth in eCommerce and inflation, driven by supplier-led cost price increases following the semi-annual excise increases.
eCommerce sales revenue of $203 million increased by 22.6% compared to the prior year, accelerating throughout the
year with growth in the fourth quarter of 38.2%. Penetration was 5.7% for the year. Penetration including Coles Online was
6.9% for the year and 7.5% for the fourth quarter. Sales growth was driven by on-demand delivery, which is now available
in more than 660 stores, and the introduction of express delivery through DoorDash and UberEats.
Coles Group CEO Leah Weckert said: “Cost of living is the number one focus for our customers right now and we continue to invest in providing value.
“During my first few months as CEO, we have made some important additions to the executive leadership team with
Michael Courtney appointed as our new Coles Liquor Chief Executive, Amanda McVay as Chief Customer Officer and
Anna Croft as Chief Commercial Officer.
“I wish to thank our team members for their dedication to delivering for our customers and the communities we serve and for their resilience during several years of challenges. I would also like to thank our suppliers and customers for their continued support.”