Woolworths lifts Q3 sales

Retail giant posts solid lift on the back of strong petrol, home improvement sales.

Woolworths (WOW) has posted a strong lift in third-quarter sales, despite ongoing consumer caution in the lead up to the Federal election.

In the three months to June 6, Woolworths sold more than $15.68 billion worth of goods, an increase of 3% on the same time last year.

The figure includes sales from across the retail giant's supermarkets, liquor stores, Big W, petrol stations, hotels and home improvement division.

Sales were up 6.4% across the company's Australian and Zealand supermarkets and petrol outlets, which collectively sold more than $13.8 billion worth of goods.

“As anticipated, retail trading conditions remained subdued with ongoing consumer caution reflecting cost of living pressures, higher unemployment and uncertainty prior to the federal election," Woolworths chief executive Grant O'Brien said.

Meanwhile, Woolworth's petrol division alone lifted sales 12.6% during the quarter.

Sales from its home improvement division were up 28.2%, thanks to the ongoing rollout of Masters stores.

But sales were down 3.6% across Big W stores compared to a year ago.

Mr O'Brien said the retail giant was on track to deliver record online sales in fiscal 2014, after posting a 37% increase in online sales from continuing operations in the third quarter. 

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