Wesfarmers lifts Q3 food and liquor sales

Retail giant increases comparable store sales, in line with expectations.

Retail giant Wesfarmers (WES) has lifted comparable food and liquor store sales by 3.5% in the third quarter, in line with expectations.

The figure is adjusted for the inclusion of New Year's Eve in the previous corresponding period and the earlier timing of Easter in full-year 2013.

A Bloomberg survey of four analysts had predicted sales growth of 3.7% in the quarter.

Headline food and liquor sales rose by 3.9% in the period to $6.734 billion, compared with $6.482bn in the March 2013 quarter.

Managing director Richard Goyder said supermarket chain Coles delivered a "solid result" in the period.

The convenience division lifted sales by 2.4% to $1.905bn in the quarter, from $1.86bn in the March 2013 quarter.

In total, Coles sales lifted by 3.6% to $8.639bn, up from $8.342bn in the prior corresponding period.

Mr Goyder said Coles continued to invest in lower prices and was making good progress in supplier partnering.

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