Despite Bunnings UK woes.

Wesfarmers has posted a 2.7% increase in sales for the third quarter to $14.8 billion. Bunnings Australia and New Zealand (BANZ) continues to be the star performer in the Wesfarmers portfolio, reporting an 8.9% increase in total sales to $3 billion. A sales increase of 10.2% for Kmart was offset by a 2% sales decline for Target in the department store division for the quarter.

Officeworks continued to experience strong sales growth with a 7.2% lift to $598 million. Coles’ sales remained relatively stable for the quarter with a slight 0.3% increase. However, sales for Bunnings United Kingdom and Ireland (BUKI) continued to suffer with a 6.5% decline in the quarter, attributed to poor weather in March.

Wesfarmers managing director, Rob Scott (pictured) said the sales performance of the group’s retail divisions was pleasing, with most businesses demonstrating improved sales momentum in the quarter.

BANZ achieved strong growth in plants, garden care and outdoor living categories. During the quarter, five warehouses, one smaller format store and one trade centre were opened. A further 17 sites were under construction, including conversions of six former Masters stores scheduled to open in the fourth quarter.

BUKI group managing director, Michael Schneider said satisfactory progress had been made to improve performance in Homebase stores and refine performance in Bunnings stores, including a greater focus on store standards, inventory controls, range management and improved promotional and digital initiatives. During the quarter, eight pilot stores were opened and seven stores closed (four for conversion and three permanently). There were 227 Homebase stores and 23 Bunnings store as at 31 March 2018.

Kmart delivered another solid quarter with growth across all categories, particularly home and kids general merchandise. During the quarter, Kmart completed four store refurbishments and opened three new stores, including one rebranded from Target.

Department Stores CEO, Guy Russo said the result from Target reflected the ongoing reset of product, price and range. Online sales increased and improvements in womenswear, menswear and homewares were offset by declines in toys and general merchandise. During the quarter, Target closed one store, which was rebranded to Kmart.

Officeworks remains focused on driving its ‘every channel’ strategy, supported by the critical back-to-school trading period. During the quarter, Officeworks opened two new stores and closed one store.