Sales up at Bunnings, Kmart

Last updated 13:50 30/01/2013

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Bunnings and Kmart owner Wesfarmers has reported an almost 5 per cent lift in second-quarter retail revenue to A$15.1 billion (NZ$18.8b), thanks in part to strong sales at its home improvement and discount department store chains.

The strong second-quarter trading result adds to evidence of growing confidence among New Zealand shoppers after several years of consumer caution and belt-tightening.

Sales at Bunnings in New Zealand and Australia for the three months ending December 31 rose 6.6 per cent year-on-year to A$2.2b, while same-store sales lifted 4.2 per cent.

John Gillam, managing director of home improvement and office supplies for the Australian-based Wesfarmers, said Bunnings grew both consumer and commercial sales across all key trading regions.

Bunnings New Zealand previously reported strong activity leading into Christmas as Kiwis geared up for summer DIY projects.

Sales at Kmart rose 3.8 per cent to A$1.4b, with same store sales up 3.7 per cent on the same period last year.

Kmart managing director Guy Russo said the discount department store continued to grow transaction and unit numbers.

"The focus on driving volume and improving our operational execution resulted in good performance in stores across Australia and New Zealand," he said.

"The business continued to benefit from better sourcing and improved inventory quality and is well positioned for the balance of the financial year."

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said he was generally pleased with the result, in particular the performances of Bunnings, Kmart and Australian supermarket chain Coles - which boosted sales in the quarter 5.2 per cent to A$9.9b.

"The retail businesses continue to improve their customer offers, with record numbers of shoppers visiting our stores during the Christmas period."

The second-quarter result lifted half-year retail revenue for Wesfarmers to A$27.5b - up 4.4 per cent year-on-year.

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