Coles sales jump in third quarter: Midday roundup

Supermarket giant Coles has recorded a sales boost during the third quarter of the year.

The company announced this morning its sales of food and liquor grew 6.6% in the three months to March to a total of $6.49 billion.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said in a statement the result was due to further investments in price cuts and fresh produce.

“Coles achieved its sixteenth consecutive quarter of growth in comparable sales and sales density,” he said.

Food and liquor sales were up 5.3% on a comparable basis. Bunnings also recorded strong sales growth of 6.7% to $1.86 billion.

Kmart sales rose 3.6% to $842 million. Goyder noted the liquor business was a sore point and that “much work remains to be done”.

Labor pushed to float carbon price

The federal government has been urged to float the carbon price following a development in Europe where measures to help boost the carbon market were blocked, resulting in carbon prices falling to $3.23 in Europe.

The government has said it will review its approach to carbon prices following the fall in European carbon prices.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox told The Australian Financial Review the government must float the carbon price.

“The EU Parliament’s vote to keep carbon prices low highlights how far out of kilter Australia’s high fixed carbon prices are,” he said.

“It shows how much Australia will gain by immediately abolishing the fixed carbon tax and moving straight away to emissions trading linked to low European prices.”

Dollar falls to five-week low on weak shares

The Australian dollar has slumped to a five-week low of just $US1.0297 this morning after a weak lead from both American and European market.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 32 points or 0.6% this morning to 4,972.6, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 138.2 points or 0.9% to 14,618.6.

Telstra adds 350 jobs in defence deal

Telstra will add 350 new jobs after winning a $1 billion contact with the Department of Defence.

Defence chief information officer Peter Lawrence said in a statement Telstra will help integrate the department’s fixed telecommunications with satellite networks.

”The project includes a major transformation program of work and the ongoing sustainment of Defence’s telecommunications environment.”



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