Covid-19 costs weigh on Coles (ASX:COL) earnings

Company News

by Lauren Evans

Coles (ASX:COL) posted its half year results for the 27 weeks ending January 2, a period impacted by Covid-19 costs. 

The supermarket giant’s revenue rose 1 per cent to $20.8 billion, while its earnings before interest and taxes fell 4.4 per cent to $975 million and its profit declined 2 per cent to $549 million.

The company said sales were driven by lockdowns across NSW, ACT and Victoria, as well as a strong Christmas trade period in the supermarkets and liquor segments. However, the fall in earnings was impacted by higher Covid-19 disruptions costs, and travel restrictions weighing on express earnings as reduced traffic on the road meant lower fuel volumes. 

Coles said that while the current environment remains uncertain after Covid-19 costs of around $30 million were incurred in January, primarily due to the large number of Covid-19 isolations, it has now moderated in February. 

Coles declared an interim dividend of 33 cents per share, in line with a year ago.

Shares in Coles (ASX:COL) are trading 0.8 per cent higher at $16.88. 

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