We have produced a chart pack of retailer performance vs market. This market share report provides two insights – 1) Performance of key ASX-listed retailers compared with market growth. 2) Market structure and individual retailer performance over time. The most interesting perspective about the data in the near-term is the recent sales performance for supermarkets, hardware, liquor, and electronics. The data includes actual six-monthly growth in industry sales to end of December 2023.
Metcash reported a soft 1H24 result with sales up 1.3% and EBIT down 3.4%. The drop in EBIT was concentrated in the Hardware division and further margin pressure is likely given soft demand and rising operating costs. The Food segment has once again confounded sceptics by growing sales (ex tobacco) close to market growth and liquor is performing well. Metcash’s significant capex and acquisition outlays along with rising rates will lift finance costs over the next 18 months.
Coles reported 1Q24 sales growth of 4.7% from its Supermarket division and 1.8% for Liquor. While Coles results were weaker than Woolworths, underlying trends remain quite similar and the growth gap is likely to remain small. The challenge for Coles is that sales growth is likely to be below underlying cost growth, putting an emphasis on cost savings to protect margins.
Coles reported 3Q23 comparable sales growth of 6.5% in Supermarkets and 1.5% in Liquor. Sales trends have slowed in Supermarkets on an underlying basis and as inflation unwinds, comparable sales are likely to slip back to 4% by 4Q23e. We expect Coles Liquor to continue growing sales slower than market growth.
Coles Group reported 1Q23 sales growth of 1.3%. This is a low rate of growth, but an aberration compared with likely growth over the remainder of FY23e. The first quarter was lapping lockdowns. We expect Coles Supermarket comp sales growth to recover to 5.9% in 2Q23e and Liquor should recover to be almost flat. All of the sales growth over coming quarters will be price inflation with some modest volume declines.
Endeavour Group reported 1H22 EBIT of $556 million, up 3%. The result was driven by gross margin gains in the Retail business. The company also did a good job in managing costs given the disruptions from COVID-19 during 1H22. We expect most of the gross margin gains seen in recent years to be retained, particularly given the growth of Pinnacle Drinks. However, we are cautious about the performance in FY23e. Overall, we forecast FY23e EBIT growth of 4%, which comprises a 9% fall for Retail and 37% EBIT growth in Hotels.
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