Retail giant Wesfarmers has reported half year profits of $1.38 billion, with subsidiary Coles providing the lion’s share of the revenue.
The result represents an 8.3 per cent increase from the same time last year, spelling good news for the retail sector at a time when the domestic economy is struggling.
Overall, the group sold a massive $31.79 billion worth of goods over the six months to December 2014, and paid out $4.14 billion in salaries and wages, including $297 million in superannuation.
Rental and lease payments, meanwhile, cost the company $1.3 billion.
Supermarket chain Coles, which Wesfarmers acquired in 2007, was the top earner, bringing in $895 million.
The second biggest earner for the group was Bunnings, which brought in $618 million, followed by Kmart, which brought in $289 million.
Kmart’s marginally more upmarket cousin Target, which is also owned by Wesfarmers, earned the company a comparatively paltry $70 million. Target was the only one of these big names not to increase its revenue.
Officeworks, meanwhile, earned the company $50 million, up from $42 million at the same time last year.
The figures come at a time of uncertainty in the domestic economy, with unemployment hitting a twelve-year high, and consumer and business confidence low across the board. This sombre outlook means February’s rate cut is unlikely to be the only one this year.
Addressing these issues, Wesfarmers said:
“As the domestic economy transitions from a period of reliance on high levels of resource investment, the Group is generally optimistic in its outlook.
“The Group’s portfolio of retail businesses is positioned well in an environment where, notwithstanding low interest rates and recent declines in fuel prices, consumer continue to manage household budgets carefully.”