SYDNEY, AAP – Supermarket giant Coles has lifted full year profit by 7.5 per cent to $1.01 billion, even as trading returned to normal after unusual panic buying ahead of lockdowns during the year.

Sales for the 52-week period to June 27 rose 3.1 per cent to $38.56 billion. Comparable sales rose 6.3 per cent during the year.

Supermarket sales were up 2.6 per cent to $33.85 billion, liquor sales rose 6.6 per cent to $2.5 billion, while Coles Express sales jumped 7.7 per cent to $1.2 billion.

Online sales surged 52 per cent to $2.1 billion.

Coles had seen double-digit sales growth in the early stages of the pandemic last year as an impending lockdown due to COVID-19 triggered panic-buying by shoppers.

But consumer behaviour had since started to normalise, with customers returning to shopping centres and increased shopping trips as well as improved transaction growth.

Meanwhile, trading has been mixed in the current quarter, Coles said.

In the first seven weeks of the current financial year, supermarket sales are up 1 per cent, liquor sales have been flat while the Express business has seen fuel volumes impacted by lockdowns.

Coles has declared a fully-franked final dividend of 28 cents per share, slightly ahead of the 27.5 cents it paid a year earlier.