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  • Supermarket giant Coles Group (COL) has seen its net profit rise in FY20
  • All up, the company reported $951 million in net profit after tax (NPAT) — a 7.1 per cent increase compared to FY19
  • Speaking to the results, Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said 2020 has been “the greatest test of our lifetime”
  • Despite the jump in NPAT, the group saw its statutory net profit after tax drop to $978 million over the 2020 financial year
  • In other financials, the group reported its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), increased 4.7 per cent to $1.76 billion — the first growth in four years
  • Meanwhile, Coles Online grew 18.1 per cent, even though the services was not distributed in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Coles shares are currently up 1.12 per cent to trade for $18.92 per share.

Supermarket giant Coles Group (COL) has seen its net profit rise in FY20, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented panic buying.

All up, the company reported $951 million in net profit after tax (NPAT) — a 7.1 per cent increase compared to FY19.

Despite the jump in NPAT, the group saw its statutory net profit after tax drop to $978 million over the 2020 financial year.

Altogether, the group’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), increased 4.7 per cent to $1.76 billion, an improvement on last year’s $1.3 billion and the first EBIT growth in four years.

Meanwhile, full-year sales totalled $37.4 billion, which is up 6.9 per cent compared to last year. Coles reported sales growth across all segments of the business.

Speaking to the results, Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said 2020 had provided “the greatest test of our lifetime … we are experiencing things we never thought we would see in a supermarket, or for that matter Australia.”

Despite the positive financial results, Coles says COVID-19 continued to have an impact on both the level and mix of its supermarket sales.

“The mix of sales evolved following the initial period of panic-buying and pantry filling, with April and May seeing a degree of de-stocking in canned and ambient pantry lines,” the company said.

The retail giant also saw an impact across its online and alcohol stores.

In fact, the Coles Online segment grew 18.1 per cent, even though the service was suspended in March and April due to the pandemic. During that time, the company heavily invested in its online department throughout the year as it expanded its home delivery services.

“Online demand and sales grew strongly in May and June, with growth rates above 30 per cent supported by substantial increases in capacity both for store pick and delivery vehicles and the rollout out of contactless Click and Collect to more than 400 stores,” the company added.

In addition, Coles’ liquor sales revenue came in at $3.3 billion for the year, which is an eight per cent increase on the prior financial year. The company hit 20.2 per cent comparable sales growth in the fourth quarter, which came as customers shopped online and from home.

Following its FY20 results, the ASX 200-lister has decided to pay its shareholders a 27.5 cent-per-share final dividend — a 14.6 per cent upswing on FY19’s final dividend.

While looking ahead, the Coles Group CEO said the focus would be on riding out COVID-19.

“There has, and will be, much to learn from COVID-19. We are determined to emerge as a better, stronger business and team,” Steven Cain said.

“Our purpose of sustainably feeding all Australians to help them lead healthier, happier lives is now more relevant than ever. The pace of change in the business is accelerating, particularly with our digital assets and capabilities, and we are demonstrating true agility on a week to week basis,” he added.

Come Wednesday’s market open, Coles shares were up 1.12 per cent to trade for $18.92 per share.

COL by the numbers
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