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April 16, 2008

AUS: Woolworths Q3 sales up 10%

Woolworths, Australia’s largest grocer, has today (16 April) posted a 10% rise in third-quarter revenue thanks to rising food and liquor sales, as well as this year’s early Easter.

Woolworths, Australia’s largest grocer, has today (16 April) posted a 10% rise in third-quarter revenue thanks to rising food and liquor sales, as well as this year’s early Easter.

Turnover rose 10.2% to A$11.6bn (US$10.8bn) during the three months to 30 March. Excluding Easter sales, revenue climbed 9.8%.

The company did not disclose any quarterly profit figures.

CEO Michael Luscombe repeated Woolworths’ previous guidance that full-year sales would rise by 8-10%.

“Our businesses are well positioned and Woolworths continues to gain value from the solid platform created by continuing to focus on lower costs, lower prices and on-going management emphasis on range, quality, value and convenience for the customer, right across the organisation,” Luscombe said.

In Australia, comparable-store sales from Woolworths’ food and liquor business rose 6.6%. In New Zealand, sales rose 6.3%.

Woolworths is at the centre of a government probe into Australia’s grocery market. The investigation was launched in January amid claims that the dominance of Woolworths and Coles, the company’s nearest rival, was hindering competition, pushing up prices and restricting choice for consumers.

Woolworths has refuted those claims, insisting that competition in the Australian grocery sector is “alive and well”.

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