Growth at Coles Liquor and Endeavour Drinks Group has continued but it is tempering as the nation moves out of the COVID-19 period and lockdowns become infrequent.
Coles Liquor’s latest quarterly results show solid growth despite post-COVID supermarket declines, whilst Endeavour Drinks, owners of the Dan Murphy’s and BWS chains, has indicated it expects sales in the next two months to decline.
Both reported strong growth in spirits and RTDs, much like Mighty Craft which also posted its results this week.
Endeavour Drinks, still currently part of the Woolworths Group but due to divest very soon, reported sales increases for its third quarter.
Sales increased to $2.4 billion, up slightly from the $2.3 billion in the same period last year, an increase of 5.5 per cent.
Total sales increased 14.4 per cent in the first seven weeks of the previous quarter but decreased by 1.6 per cent in the final six weeks as the business ‘cycled’ the onset of COVID in the prior year. Endeavour Drinks expects this to continue.
“Endeavour Drinks sales in April remained above last year but are expected to slow when we cycle growth of over 30 per cent in May and June,” the company reported.
Endeavour recently completed the acquisition of Oakridge Wines, but it also said that wine sales declined for the quarter due to the strong sales in March last year.
Beer sales on the other hand ended in line with sales in the comparable period last year, and craft beer sales, in particular, remained “buoyant” it said.
Coles Liquor saw sales increase 2.6 per cent to $759 million in the third quarter of its financial year, contrasting with a decline in supermarket segment revenues.
The Coles Group overall saw revenues for the third quarter declined to $7.7 billion from $8.2 million in the corresponding quarter last year, which fell just as the pandemic was starting.
In its alcohol segment though, the owner of the First Choice, Vintage Cellars and Liquorland brands, said that comparable sales grew despite the significant impact of COVID-19 on liquor sales in the corresponding period last year which had skewed results.
In keeping with industry trends, Coles said that spirits and RTDs were ‘key drivers’ of growth amongst its categories.
Coles undertook 130 range changes, including in craft beer, cider and RTDs, two segments which it said had strengthened “customer metrics”.
eCommerce sales grew 72 per cent during the period as customers moved increasingly to online shopping during the period of lockdowns, a trend that does not appear to be abating.