Australian retail-to-coal conglomerate Wesfarmers said today (24 April) that sales at its grocery retail business, Coles, were up by almost 5% in its third quarter.

The country’s second largest supermarket group reported sales of A$7.8bn (US$8bn) in the period, up 4.9% from A$7.5bn in the third quarter of last year. 

Gains were driven by a 7.9% jump in sales at convenience stores, while revenues at Coles food and liquor stores increased 4.1%, the company revealed. 

Like-for-like sales in Coles stores were up 2.7%, Wesfarmers added. 

However, Coles revenues were dented by a record fall in prices, with its food and liquor division reporting a 3.6% drop in selling prices. Fresh produce prices were roughly 25% lower year-on-year, the group added. 

“Coles recorded pleasing sales growth given the record level of price deflation driven by high abundant fresh produce supply and Coles’ continued investment in value,” Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said. 

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