Coles has reported its third quarter results, with overall sales revenue down 5.1 per cent to $7.7 billion, driven by supermarket sales decreasing by 6.1 per cent, as Coles cycled the significant impact of COVID-19 that occurred during the previous corresponding period (pcp).

Coles Express sales increased by 7.4 per cent on the pcp, as the impact of the pandemic on c-store sales began in late March 2020 when Australia entered a national lockdown leading to reduced levels of road traffic.

Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain, said: “I am pleased to be reporting ongoing successful execution of our refreshed strategy, continued support of communities in need, including those impacted by the NSW floods, and the beginnings of a return to normality for Australians’ everyday lives.”

C-store sales revenue was $275 million for the third quarter, with comparable c-store sales growth of 6.3 per cent.

Coles said: “Sales growth was driven by core convenience categories, such as food-to-go, drinks and confectionery. While forecourt and tobacco sales continued to contribute to growth, the growth did moderate relative to recent periods.

“Recent investments in self-service coffee machines and Express’ award-winning Rainforest Alliance Certified Urban Coffee Culture blend has also driven double-digit growth in coffee sales and a strong uplift in customer satisfaction.”

Fuel volumes declined by 7.5 per cent with comparable fuel volumes declining by 9.3 per cent. Average weekly fuel volumes of 58.8mL per week were recorded, despite the impact of seasonal factors and state-based snap lockdowns that restricted the movement of people. However, average weekly fuel volumes did trend positively after the traditional holiday season with March volumes of approximately 61mL per week.

During the quarter, one new site was opened and three closed, taking the total network to 721 sites.

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