Coles has witnessed a slowdown in sales growth during the third quarter, the Australian retailer's parent company revealed today (22 April).

In its third-quarter trading update, Wesfarmers revealed that total Coles sales, including sales from convenience stores, rose 4.9% to A$6.9bn. Sales from the group's food and liquor unit rose 3.9%.

The result represented a considerable slowdown in sales for Australia's second-largest supermarket, which has seen year-to-date sales rise 6.1%.

Coles was also cautious on its outlook for the fourth quarter. The company said that it would be up against a tough comparable for the period, with spending in the year-ago period boosted by the country's financial stimulus package.

Nevertheless, Coles managing director Ian McLeod said the “solid” sales performance was “pleasing”.

“Coles is continuing to invest in improved supply chain efficiency, better service and store standards for customers,” McLeod said.