Coles Group, Australia’s second-largest grocer, has reported a 14% jump in half-year earnings on the back of higher sales, including a “record-breaking” Christmas.

Wesfarmers, the Australian conglomerate that owns Coles, said the retailer generated EBIT of A$656m (US$699.8m) in the six months to the end of December, an increase of 14.1% on a year earlier.

Coles saw its revenue rise 7.2% to A$17.22bn after a 4.4% increase in comparable-store sales. The retailer said the higher sales came despite a 2.4% fall in prices.

“The result reflects the sustained momentum in the turnaround of Coles as customers continue to respond favourably in increasing numbers, as evidenced by record-breaking Christmas sales, to the ongoing improvements in value, quality and service throughout the store,” the company said.

Last month, Coles rival Woolworths Ltd reported a 4.3% increase in first-half sales from its Australian food and liquor division. Comparable-store sales climbed 1.5%.

Woolworths will report its complete half-year financial results on 1 March.