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Wesfarmers' Coles Q1'19 sales grow 5% YOY

Wesfarmers Ltd.'s Coles unit on Oct. 15 posted first-quarter 2019 total sales of A$9.84 billion, up 5% year over year from A$9.37 billion a year earlier, led by a 5.8% year-over-year growth in sales from its supermarkets segment.

For the 13 weeks ended Sept. 23, the Australian retailer reported that supermarkets sales reached A$7.66 billion, up year over year from A$7.24 billion.

Comparable food sales for the company's supermarkets segment jumped 5.1% during the quarter, driven by "strong growth in basket size, transaction numbers and units sold, as well as improvements in fresh market share," Managing Director Rob Scott said.

Coles' online division saw sales soar 30% during the period and is on track to exceed A$1 billion in sales for the year. The company also rolled out 1,000 Click & Collect locations during the period as it further invested in providing convenient solutions to customers.

Meanwhile, sales for Coles' liquor division grew 2.1% to A$744 million from A$729 million in the year-ago quarter, while convenience store sales climbed 2.5% year over year to A$1.44 billion from A$1.40 billion a year earlier.

For the first quarter, Coles maintained its network of 809 supermarkets, 900 retail liquor outlets and 711 convenience stores.

"The result for the first quarter was pleasing as it demonstrated the ability of the Coles team to continue to focus on improving in-store execution while preparations continued for the proposed shareholder vote on the demerger of Coles," Scott added.

Wesfarmers' shareholders are scheduled to vote Nov. 15 on the spinoff of Coles, as ordered by the Supreme Court of Western Australia.