Officeworks up but Target misses the boat. Supermarket giant Westfarmers released its third quarter sales figures, revealing Officeworks, food and liqour among it star players.
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Officeworks total sales to 31 March 2012 lifted 2.5% to $415 million, while retail sales grew by 1.1%, underpinned by strong transaction growth and buoyant sales from ‘back to school’ demand.
“Officeworks achieved 2.5 per cent growth in total sales during the quarter, underpinned by growing customer numbers and a pleasing performance during the important back-to-school and back-to-work periods,” Westfarmers said in a statement today.
During the third quarter, two additional stores were opened including one converted Harris Technology business centre.
For the financial year to date, total sales were up 1.3% to $1.1 billion, meaning the retailer is shaping up for a profitable year end result.
The Westfarmers group other electronics retailer, Target, however, told a different story – with sales falling 4.4% to $692m – down from $724m the same quarter last year.
Tough trading conditions wer endured “particularly in our entertainment categories such as electrical, general merchandise and toys, leisure and books,” said Target MD, Dene Rogers
Comparable sales declined 6.1% and total sales so far this year have declined 3% this quarter to $2.8 billion.
This drop was despite improving profitability of promotions and tighter inventory management, initiatives continued to negatively impact top line sales, the company noted.
Overall, Coles supermarket did well this quarter, with sales of $ 6,090m for food and liquor business including Liquorland outlets – an impressive 4.9% lift on last year.
This also marks Coles’ 15th consecutive quarter of growth as it continues to wage price war with rival Woolies.
Westfarmers Managing Director, Richard Goyder, said that he was “pleased” with the sales results especially given the tough retail environment and the level of price investment.
“Coles recorded pleasing sales growth given the record level of price deflation driven by high abundant fresh produce supply and Coles continued investment in value”.
Growth in Coles reflected “a positive response by customers to the progress being made in improving product quality, service and value,” Mr Goyder said.
“These changes have resulted in notable margin improvement.”
Each of the businesses were “well positioned for trading in the final quarter,” Westfarmers said.