Willys is one of Axfoods grocery retail banners

Willys is one of Axfood's grocery retail banners

Swedish food wholesaler and retailer Axfood saw its profit growth accelerate during the third quarter of 2010.

Axfood today (26 October) posted SEK260m profit after tax for the quarter ended 30 September, a 9% increase on the same period last year, and against a 4.5% increase in the first half.

It reported SEK8.58bn consolidated sales for the quarter, a 6.6% increase on the same period last year.

Retail sales in its 230 group-owned stores increased 2.7%, while like-for-like sales rose 0.3%.

The results show improvement when compared with the first half, when it reported sales growth of 0.7% in its company-owned stores, while like-for-like sales fell 1.9%.

However, Axfood reaffirmed its cautious forecast for the full year, saying it is working to "achieve an operating profit at least the same level as in 2009".