Insights 22nd February 2022

Supermarket giant, Coles’ earnings hit by COVID costs | Coles (ASX:COL) Reporting Season Result

Coles (ASX:COL) reported its half-year 2022 results this morning. I’ll take you through the key highlights now.

Coles’ total revenue came in at $20.6b, which was slightly higher than the prior corresponding period. Management advised that this reflects the elevated sales because of lockdowns across NSW, ACT and VIC, as well as a strong Christmas trading period.

NPAT was slightly down on the prior corresponding period, coming in at $549m. That was better than both Bell Potters expectation of $538.4m and consensus’ expectation of $506m.

EBIT – earnings before interest and tax, fell 4.4%, reaching $975m, which fell short of Morgan’s estimate of $988m. This was due to higher COVID-19 disruption and transformation project costs. Coles estimated that $150m of COVID costs were incurred during the period, up from $105m in the prior corresponding period.

Coles also announced an interim, fully franked dividend of 33 cents per share.

Looking to the future, no guidance has been given for the second half, but management have reiterated that it will continue to focus on providing trusted value for customers, despite increasing cost pressures. They also highlighted that the current operating environment remained uncertain.

Since the announcement, there has been one broker update. Ord Minnett has a HOLD rating on Coles with a $17.80 price target. And as at the time of recording Coles’ share price is up 3%.