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Coles Appoints First Female CEO

Coles has appointed Leah Weckert as its new CEO, the first female in the top role since the company founded in 1914.

Weckert will take over from departing CEO Steven Cain on May 1.

“Leah has an outstanding track record of leadership and driving change inside Coles across key operating areas of the business. I am confident that Leah will maintain the focus of Coles in driving our strategy, building trust with all stakeholders and growing long-term shareholder value,” Coles Chairman James Graham said.


“I am very honoured to be appointed as the next CEO of Coles, which has been such an important part of Australian retailing for more than 100 years, and play a part in its ongoing contribution to the Australian community.”

This comes as Coles posts a half-year net profit jump of 17.1 per cent, to $643 million, due to high grocery inflation and a reduction in COVID-related costs – down to $20 million from over $150 million the previous year.

This is compared to a $549 net profit a year earlier. Coles credits its cost reduction program, Smarter Selling, for bringing in $100 million, as Aussies battle rising inflation.

Total revenue was up 4 per cent, to $20.8 million for the half year, with EBIT up 9.9 per cent, to $1.1 billion.

The company declared a fully franked interim dividend of 36¢ a share, up 9.1 per cent on the prior corresponding period, payable March 30.

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