Countdown quarterly sales up
Supermarket chain Countdown has reported first-quarter sales of $1.5 billion for this financial year, up 2.7 per cent on the same period last year.
The results for the 14 weeks to September 30 show particularly strong returns in seafood and grocery but the ASX-listed parent company, Woolworths, did not break the figures down.
Dave Chambers, the managing director of Countdown operator Progressive Enterprises, said the group continued to increase market share, customer numbers, basket size and items sold, despite challenging economic conditions and the impact of competitors' new stores.
Countdown still has 161 stores in New Zealand, with one remaining closed after the earthquake Christchurch in February last year.
Countdown's New Zealand food price index showed deflation - prices going down - for the quarter of 0.2 per cent compared with inflation of 1.9 per cent at the same time last year.
"This was driven by deflation in dairy and dry grocery in particular, although most categories experienced deflation during the quarter," Chambers said.
Woolworths' entire supermarket division reported first-quarter sales of $16.3b, up 3.4 per cent on the same time last year.
Total group sales were $19.2b, up 4.3 per cent on the same quarter last year.
The group's consumer electronics sales in New Zealand fell 8.8 per cent to $73 million for the quarter, driven by store closures that took place in the second half of the financial year as part of a restructuring and sale of the Dick Smith business.
The chain was sold last month to Australian private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners for a reported $25m, after an eight-month search for a buyer.
Overall, across Australia and New Zealand, a further 24 Dick Smith stores were shut during the quarter as part of the divestment plan.
Total stores at the quarter's end were 325, with 61 in New Zealand. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think state schools should conduct religious instruction for primary-aged children?