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Coles Myer sales up 8.8% for 13 weeks ended April 24, 2005

May '05
australia's largest retailer coles myer announced third quarter results for 2005.

- group sales up 8.8% to $8.7 billion - comparative sales up 5.0%
- food and liquor sales up 4.9% - comparative sales up 3.0%
- non-food sales up 5.4% - comparative sales up 3.7%
- earnings guidance unchanged

coles myer ltd (cml) today announced third quarter sales of $8.7 billion, an increase of 8.8% for the 13 weeks ended 24 april 2005.

“this is a strong result in an intensely competitive retail market, particularly when we are cycling high prior year growth rates,” ceo john fletcher said.

“our food, liquor and fuel division has continued to achieve solid sales growth and introduced new customer initiatives. “in non-food, target and officeworks again produced outstanding results and kmart and myer continued to achieve steady growth.

“the group continues to deliver against strategy and remains on track to deliver within our earnings guidance for the year.” food and liquor sales increased by 4.9% for the quarter, with comparative sales growth of 3.0%, achieved while cycling comparative growth of 5.1% in q3 fy04. the easter period saw strong sales and increased foot traffic in both supermarket brands.

an environment of heavy competition and price deflation in some food categories provided exceptional value to customers. overall food inflation remained stable at around 1%. liquor sales improved in the quarter on a strong customer response to marketing initiatives across all liquor brands. in march, eight hotels were acquired in key strategic locations to support the rollout of the 1st choice liquor superstores in queensland. the first in a progressive roll out of our large format stores will open in victoria later this month. coles express sales increased by 34.1%, reflecting higher fuel prices during the quarter, and convenience store sales continued to grow. given the significant variation that can occur in fuel prices, fuel volumes provide a better measure of performance – the comparative fuel volume growth was 4.7% in q3.

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