MELBOURNE, Australia -- Coles Myer here, Australia's second largest supermarket operator, said it has split its 12 retail businesses into two operating divisions and named Dennis Eck to head its "basic needs" division. Eck, formerly managing director of supermarkets, has been given the new title of group managing director of basic needs, with responsibility for 510 Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets, 809 Liquor Land liquor stores, 163 Kmart hardlines variety stores, 222 Red Rooster fast-food restaurants and four Officeworks office supply superstores. Eck has been with Coles Myer since May 1994, a few months after he resigned as president and chief operating officer of Vons Cos., Arcadia, Calif. Coles Myer's other operating division is "options shopping," which encompasses 70 Myer Grace Bros. department stores, a Myer Direct phone catalog operation, 99 Target junior department stores, 149 Fosseys variety stores, 352 Katies women's apparel stores and 17 World 4 Kids toy stores. A Coles Myer spokeswoman told SN the company is seeking a group managing director for the options shopping division -- "probably a U.S. appointment," she said. Coles Myer also released sales results for the second quarter and first half ended Jan. 28, which showed total sales up 8.8% for the quarter to $4 billion U.S. (at an exchange rate of $1 U.S. equals $1.32 Australian), and 8.5% for the half to $7.2 billion. It plans to release earnings in mid-March. The company said supermarket and liquor sales -- which represent 45% of the total -- rose 14.9% for the quarter, representing the fifth consecutive quarter with sales growth over 10%, and 15% for the half. Same-store sales rose 11% for the half; the company did not release same-store results for the second quarter.